The Biker and the Barbecue
We first discovered the Zinfandel-focused Four Vines on a day trip to Paso Robles back in 2007 and were impressed from the start. So, I was delighted to receive some samples from Four Vines recently. And, a craving for barbecue cuisine was the perfect opportunity to open up two of the winery’s Zinfandels.
The Truant and the Biker are both varietally-labeled Zinfandels, but from different appellations and, consequently, possess two different personalities.
With a California pedigree, The Truant is a blend of 90% Zinfandel, 7% Barbera and 3% Petite Sirah from fruit primarily grown in Lodi, Mendocino and Paso Robles. Living up to its name, this is a rebel without a cause and a big bruiser of a wine –in your face bold – with tar, earth, berry and spice notes on both the nose and palate. The wine is full-bodied, with noticeable alcohol and culminating in medium+ length. (SRP $12.00)
The Biker is a bit more restrained – still too cool for school, this is also a powerful wine, but it is a more elegant rendition of Zinfandel. Sourced from fruit from the Dusi and Preston Vineyards on Paso Robles’ Westside, this wine delivers spicy, blueberry jam, slight woody aromas on the distinctive nose, which are echoed on the palate. A medium+-bodied wine, the tannins are lighter and smoother than those on the Truant and it finishes with long length. (SRP $18.00)
Although devoted to Zinfandel, the winery also produces a single white wine – an unoaked “Naked” Chardonnay. This 100% Chardonnay hails from Santa Barbara and offers up melon, apple and buttery notes with a rich and creamy mouthfeel. Finally, a price-conscious Chardonnay (SRP $12.00) that doesn’t give you splinters ;-)
Four Vines also produces the Maverick Zinfandel from Amador County, its Sophisticate Zinfandel from Sonoma County and an Old Vine Zinfandel (from vines ranging from 30-100 years old) from California.
The barbecue chicken and ribs were a perfect pairing for the two Zinfandels, but these wines could easily accompany burgers or beef.