by Fred McMillin
for November 30, 1998

 

A Kingpin Red Zin


Prologue

The Dry Creek Valley is a sparsely settled offshoot of the Russian River drainage. During the 1980's it emerged as one of the most intriguing wine districts in Sonoma County. Nowhere else in California does Zinfandel grow nearly so well.

...The Oxford Companion To Wine, J. Robinson

Better than anywhere else in California, the Dry Creek benchlands coax out of Zinfandel the arrestingly tart, untamed flavors of blackberries...Zinfandel is THE grape of the warm valley, where it is regarded as close to holy.

...The Wine Atlas of California, Bob Thompson

Gary Farrell, Los Angeles Times Winemaker of the Year, "is one of the most talented winemakers in California."

Gary Farrell
Wine Whiz
Gary Farrell

...Wine Regions of America, Prof. John Baxevanis


The Rest of the Story

So what happens if you turn Gary loose on top-notch grapes from the Dry Creek Valley? You get one of the five best Zinfandels we've tasted this year. Here it is.


The Wine

1995 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Grist Ranch
Gary Farrell Wines
Owner—Gary Farrell
Winemaker—We'll let you guess.
Scott's Panel Rating—EXCELLENT
Food Selections—See the Zinfandel Cookbook, by Jan Nix and Margaret Smith, Only $15. Phone (800) 600-9086, FAX (650) 851-5579. Two of my choices with this wine are:
a) Moroccan Lamb Shanks and
b) Berry-browned Game Hens.
Price of Wine—$24 range


Postscript

For those interested is vineyard soils, the 16-mile-long Dry Creek Valley is separated from the adjoining Alexander Valley by an elevated benchland. The uplands are composed of a gravelly material called Dry Creek Conglomerate, found nowhere else in Sonoma County. With plenty of minerals and good drainage, it's a soil any vine would love.

 

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

 

 

WineDay Annex

More articles by
Fred McMillin

 

Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend.

 

Anthony Dias Blue's
Tasting Notes

GourmetMarket.com's
Wine Clubs
and
Wine Store

 

Winery of the Week
11/27/98
Highborn Elkhorn

11/26/98
Turkey Day

11/25/98
The Skalli Saga

11/24/98
Happy Birthday, Father Serra

11/23/98
How To Fool The Tasters

Winery of the Week
11/20/98
Watch This Winery!

11/19/98
This Is Nouveau Day

11/18/98
An Upbeat Stonestreet

11/17/98
Carneros Up Close

11/16/98
The Zinfandel Magic Spell

Winery of the Week
11/13/98
Burgundy by the Bay

11/12/98
Firestone Grown

11/11/98
St. Martin's Feast

11/10/98
A True Blue Franc

11/09/98
Brix and Bubbles

Winery of the Week
11/06/98
What's A Negociant?

11/05/98
Happy Birthday,
Monsieur Mornay

11/04/98
A Remarkable Wine

11/03/98
Salad and Wine

11/02/98
A Nouveau Month

Current WineDay

January WineDays
February WineDays
March WineDays
April WineDays
May WineDays
June WineDays
Summer Break
September WineDays
October WineDays

1997 WineDays

 

The Global Gourmet

Copyright © 1998—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.