2016 Ledson Howell Mountain “Old Vine” Zinfandel

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The Winery

(Picture from Ledson Winery)

The story begins in England in 1896 and is detailed out on the website https://ledson.com/discover-ledson/history/ . It is a tale of hard work, family ties and a desire to do more for the community. Steve Ledson’s history is both unique and common—unique with background and successful venture and common with family ties. His demeanor and casual manner bespeaks volumes. A couple of years ago, I had a friend come down from Oregon and had Assistant Winemaker Jerry Padilla conduct the private tasting. On the way out, Steve walked in with jeans and tee shirt having worked some aspect of the vineyard only to greet us, genuinely happy that our tasting went well.

(From a recent private tasting at Ledson Winery with friends)


The Castle is the official tasting room of Ledson Winery and the architecture and construction alone are worth the visit! Ledson Winery offers the largest premium wine portfolio of any family owned winery in the United States. Today their offering numbers more than 70 wines annually! For more information on Ledson Winery click below:

https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2018/06/26/ledson-winery-an-opulent-castle-only-overshadowed-by-the-wine/

The Wine

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

First on the eyes, an extremely dark elixir and medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, a symphony of aromas coming beaming up from the glass of blackberries, plums, cherry and cranberry. On the palate, the black fruits come bursting ahead with soft vanilla, pipe tobacco, earthiness and spice notes. The finish provides a swirling memory of the aforementioned flavors and soft leather and jammy red licorice. Tannins were present but in a rounded fashion. This was one of the most bold, smooth and semi-dry Zinfandel wines I have experienced. This will make my Annual Best Wines Tasted for 2023 that will come out in December. The current vintage is 2019 and goes for $72/bottle.

The Food and Wine Pairing

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

Pulled this wine out of the cellar specifically for our meal this evening of Carne Asada. We normally seared it on the BBQ but with the rain, did on the stove with a cast iron skillet. Besides a fresh cut of flank steak, ingredients included chopped cilantro leaves, olive oil, reduced sodium soy sauce, juice from one orange, juice from one lime, minced garlic cloves, minced jalapeno pepper, cumin, kosher salt and ground black pepper. This was marinated for about 10 hours. Extra sauce was saved to drizzle on the plated meat. Accompanied by sautéed Brussel sprouts with sliced mushrooms and a fresh garden salad. The wine with its full fruit forward characteristics was excellent with the meal. Definitely a home run!

Sláinte,

Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

https://ledson.com/

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