2006 Zaca Mesa Syrah
2007 75 Wine Co. "The Sum"
I was excited to try "The Sum" as it had received a nice review from the Wine Advocate of 90 points. I also have found from the same producer the 75 Cabernet Sauvignon from Lake County a decent value so I had decent expectations for this wine. I gave it an 89, but was thinking 86-87 the whole way, but thought more to the general wine drinking public that would find this more exciting than I and for the price merits a little better score than my initial assessment. It was clearly a California made wine as you could taste the sunshine on the ripe and rich fruit, as well as the Petite Sirah (10%) that gave it more California flair. The core is Cabernet Sauvignon at 75% of the blend and the remaining 15% Syrah. All of the fruit is from Red Hills in Lake County, north of the Napa Valley and an up an coming wine region offering nicely priced wines with good quality.
The second wine, and more exciting to me, was from the Central Coast of California in the Santa Ynez Valley from the pioneer winery in that region: Zaca Mesa. Zaca Mesa was founded in 1972 and first planted in 1973, eventually deciding on Rhone varietals as the optimal grapes to plan in their vineyard properties way back in the 1970's. Many great wine-makers have worked the vines and wine making facility at Zaca Mesa including those of Ojai and Au Bon Climat. The Zaca Mesa 2006 Syrah is made from 100% estate grown fruit from their original vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley. You would think it has to be good, and cheap, as they have tended the vines and held the property for so long in American wine years. Very fresh and natural flavors and aromas were apparent in this wine, and at this price made it even more exciting. This has to be the value of the year and the best QPR I have had to date this year.
California, North Coast, Red Hills Lake County
Color: Red with some intense purple tinges
Nose & Palate: Mixed bag of blueberry, blackberry and huckleberry. Savory and herbal spices combine with the lush fruit for a nice experience. Very in your face, yet restrained to not go too far as the wine retains acidity and supple tannins.
Good, easy, impressive drink...not a thinkers wine per se, but delicious and sure to please the masses. Great price too at around $20!