Saturday, April 4, 2009

Talmage Pija Blend 2006 Mendocino

Last night at Klee Brasserie on 9th avenue and 22nd street in Chelsea, NYC, the Wine Director Aet Soe (pronounced Aiy-yet) recommended this beautiful Zinfandel fruit-forward blend from Mendocino, California.

50% zinfandel, 45% petite syrah, 5% charbono... now that's an intesting blend. Beginning with hints of tar aromas, the flavors open quickly to thick plum syrup, violets, spices and notes of chocolate. Exhibits extremely smooth tannins and is a really luscious food wine.

Their extensive wine list makes it a worthwhile visit.

Winemakers Notes:

process | sustainably farmed
grapes | 50% zinfandel, 45% petite syrah, 5% charbono
alcohol | 14.5%
pH | 3.65
T.A. | 5.2 grams/liter
production | 1200 cases

Pija, Spanish for "rascal," is indeed a most feisty blend of grape varietals well suited to inland Mendocino County's terroir. We've taken the historical practice of Italian field blendin —planting several varietals in one lot, harvesting the grapes together and making wine— and adapted the method to create our own well-balanced, modern day blend.

Unlike traditional field blending, we source grapes from different vineyards, particularly those characteristics of inland Mendocino's wine-growing history. Mattern Ranch, located on the Talmage Bench east of the Russian River, provides dry-farmed old vine Zinfandel and a younger planting of Petite Syrah. We source our Charbono from Venturi Vineyards' ninety-year old, late-to-ripen vines.

We ferment the lots separately and blend after fermentation to produce the winemaker inspired Pija Blend is sophisticated peasant wine and its source vineyards will change from year to year, but the zesty, innovative spirit will remain the same.

Plum, spice, and soft chocolate finish emphasize the 2006 vintage's wild berry and black cherry.

We age our Pija blend in older French oak. Some portions age in stainless steel to emphasize fruit and flavor purity.

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