For dinner last evening with friends we initially chose Rudy Zuidema’s 2017 Grenache. Four years in a row Rudy continues to make an excellent and intriguing Grenache. His 2017 Grenache combines delicate finesse with the subtle power of Grenache. Rudy describes it as having aromas of cut violets and earthiness. The strawberry and black cherry flavors burst out immediately on the nose. Once on the palate, soft herbal notes are detectable along with ripe plums and minerality. The finish continues to provide the dustiness, along with an old world rustic style in this spicy and drinkable wine. Rudy’s Clone 515 Grenache from Chateauneuf du Pape heritage continues to produce a delightful summer and fall wine. The wine is 100% Grenache and boasts a 15.2% alcohol. Only 78 cases were produced and this will go quickly. It sells for $42 a bottle.
More on Rudy can be found at: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2019/09/23/rudy-zuidema-a-look-at-the-extraordinary-winemaker-golfer-husband-father/ .
The Food and Wine Pairing
A fantastically prepared Andouille Cajun Rice Skillet dish was chosen to pair with the wine. This was a “warm temperature flavor” dish with spiciness and far reaching textual appeal in the mouth. The recipe called for Andouille Cajun sausage, yellow onion, red & yellow bell peppers, minced garlic, Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, kosher salt, tomato paste, fresh sliced Roma tomatoes, crushed red peppers and brown rice. A fresh garden salad with chunky Blue cheese dressing on the side and garlic shrimp with Portuguese peppers were also served. The Grenache having its own soft spiciness still possessed enough calming influence of the cherries, plums and strawberries to temper the meal.
Additionally selected other wines were offered and while all three have made my Best Wines of Year previously (and one costing more than $200), they were booked ended with the delicious Zuidema 2017 Grenache.