Zaca Mesa Winery is located in Santa Ynez Valley on an 750 acre estate whereof 244 acres are planted vineyard. The winery was founded in 1972 and was one of the first in Santa Ynez Valley since the prohibition ended. It was originally planted with varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, etc. In the early 1990's it was determined that Rhone varietals such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier, and Roussanne grew best on the site, and it was decided that these were the varietals the winery would focus on. Since 2002 an additional 100 acres have been replanted with new clones of Rhone varietals.
All grapes used in their wine is grown on their property with sustainable wine growing as the goal.
An interesting trivia is that their Syrah was served in the White House by President Clinton to the French President Chirac.
The Zaca Mesa 2004 Z Cuvee Santa Ynez Valley Red Wine is a Chateauneuf-du-Pape style blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah and Cinsaut. The different varietals were fermented and barrel aged separately for 7 months. They were then blended and aged an additional 9 months in French oak.
This dark ruby red wine shows raspberry, sweet vanilla, cherry and a hint of strawberry on the nose. Once in your mouth the palate reveals soft raspberry, cherry, blackberry and a big kick of peppery spice at the end. The finish is at first fruity but is soon overpowered by the earthy, tart tannins.
This wine did not make me jump with joy but neither was it totally off. I wish it was more balanced and had softer, more integrated tannins for a smoother finish. The vanilla on the nose was also slightly overshadowing the fruit.
You can order this wine direct from the winery for $18. Or you can find it for as low as $13.95 at both Wine-Searcher.com and Winezap.com.
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