Hendry Ranch Wines HRW Zinfandel 2007, Napa, California

HRW is the “Farm Team” range at Hendry Ranch Wines from Napa. The 2007 Zinfandel features vibrant fruits (cherry mostly), rosemary, cocoa and I caught a bit off Jamaican allspice hanging out in the barrel smoke. I call it “Farm Team,” because the price range is significantly lower than the Hendry branded wines that they sell at twice the price. If you do want to call this a minor league wine, think of it as Kevin Costner’s distinguished minor leaguer Crash Davis in Bull Durham. A real pro who just never got a fair shake at the big dance.

Andrew Hendry explained to me that for the most part the grapes that made these wines came from younger vines, and predictably the resulting wines are not as complex is the bottles that do make it to the big dance. My take on it is this: often California Zinfandels are like fastballs, occasionally some are complex and restrained enough to be curveballs. This one is like a sinker that comes out fast, but the bottom falls out of it before it crosses the plate.

Musical Match: Stay Positive By The Hold Steady. The Hold Steady don’t sell tonnes of records, and are often compared to other bands, From the Replacements to Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. They come out of the blocks rocking, like a good Californa Zin Should. This is a band that may never get to headline, but are great on their own terms. Enjoy!

Leave a comment and me know what wine you would match with this music.

Part 4/5 of the BottleDJ 2010 Fall Classic Focus on Napa.

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