Monday, November 08, 2004

Winecology: Shea Wine Cellars Willamette Valley, OR Pinot Noir 2001 vs. Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel Bin 115 Paso Robles, CA 2002

An interesting tandem of wines. I had both of these with an early Thanksgiving dinner we hosted this weekend. The Shea Pinot was with the meal and the Peachy Canyon Zin with leftovers a couple of nights later. I had understood that both Pinot and Zin make good matches for turkey, gravy, stuffing and other Thanksgiving yummies. These two wines lived up to the billing by complimenting the diverse meal flavors while not overpowering all the good seasonings we poured into the food - sage, thyme and cloves to name a few!

Shea Wine Cellars is a fairly new (1996) Oregon winery, however the vineyard has long supplied grapes to many notable wineries including - St. Innocent, Ken Wright Cellars and Sin Qua Non. Shea's reputation as a high quality source of Pinot Noir grapes is well deserved after tasting their own 2001 bottling. The wine was light ruby in the glass with a pleasant and aromatic nose. In the mouth the wine was supple with big fruit flavors. The finish was long with nice tartness balancing the soft tannin structure.

Rating - 9.0 out of 10
Price - $27

Peachy Canyon has earned a solid reputation as a producer of classic Paso Robles zinfandel. The 2002 Incredible Red Bin 115 seems to fit the mold and check-off all of the classic zinfandel boxes - but just did not knock my socks off. The wine showed dark red and purple colors in the glass. The nose slightly hinted of berry fruit. Once in the mouth it was appealing with a light jammy texture, but missed out by not achieving the thick and chewy texture of high quality zins. Soft flavors of blueberry turn into strong black pepper. The finish was of medium length and resonates the pepper notes. A good wine value.

Rating - 8.5 out of 10
Price - $9