Zin and Pasta Trail

This weekend marked the inaugural Zinfandel and Pasta event for the DePortola Trail Wineries, and it was a big success with over 300 tickets sold.

Robert Renzoni was the first stop of the day, Robert had taken the day off but his parents Fred and Julie Renzoni were on hand to chat with, actually we had lunch together, and what was supposed to be a ten minute check-in turned into an hour savoring an outstanding glass of Zinfandel and eating  penne with a sausage-based marinara, and a vegetable fusilli with a classic Alfredo sauce.  The pasta was prepared by Trapiano’s in Fallbrook, and it is now on my must-visit list.

The Zinfandel  was a 2007 sourced from eighty year old vines in Rancho Cucamonga.  Blueberry, clove, pepper. Rich mellow and smooth on the finish. A great wine. Upon reflection, Robert Renzoni’s 2007 Zinfandel was the best I tasted for the event.

Enjoying Oak Mountains 'Super' Zinfandel, a field blend of three separate vineyards. Photograph by Loren Scott.

Oak Mountain was pouring their three vineyard ‘Super’ Zinfandel, blended on the crush pad, it is a complex wine with cherry, plum and vanilla, and many layers to explore.  Oak mountain is still running their wine futures program on many of their wines, smart shoppers will buy the futures and save up to 50% on a case of wine. If that is not enough wine for you, Oak Mountain has entire kegs for sale, starting at a cool $5,000 each.

Tasting room at Oak Mountain kept up a nice steady pace on Sunday, it was a relaxing and leisurely day to drink wine. Photograph by Loren Scott.

Masía de Yabar was a treat to visit, somehow I have never made it to this charming winery before. Park in the lower lot and a shuttle whisks you up the the main house and you are dropped off in front of a beautiful courtyard. The centerpiece, a fountain comprised of four horses, is quite magnificent in it’s own right.  Masía de Yabar is a large estate house, take a wrong turn and you will end up in the bedrooms. Luckily, we made it to the kitchen where the goodness awaited. They were serving a 2005 Zinfandel along with a penne pasta with Andouille sausage.

(1st) The Zinfandel was rustic in style, little acetone, tight nose, high alcohol, lingering aftertaste.

(2nd) After sitting for about 30 minutes the wine started to open up, the earlier faults disappeared and were replaced with big berry flavors and a smooth mouth feel, medium finish.

First ever visit to Masia de Yabar, and was suitably impressed to be walking into someones (extremely beautiful) home for a wine tasting. Photograph by Loren Scott.

Gershon Bachus Vintners

Food was prepared by Chef Adrian Halmagean of Sorrel Restaurant and Bistro, set to open this June in the Bellagio Center, next to the Winchester Mall. I have known Chef Halmagean for several years now, and he is known for pushing the envelope. For this event he was remarkably restrained, but managed to produce a perfect dish of gnocchi, you could not improve upon it. Look for a review on his new restaurant this Summer.

The gnocchi was expertly paired with the 2005 Gershon Bachus Zeyphyrus Zinfandel, a Sonoma County-based wine. The Zinfandel was mellow, delicate, good tannins and structure, light and dancing in your mouth. Big hit of licorice on the finish.  Very nice pairing, excellent food, excellent wine, my second favorite of the day.

Chef Adrian Halmagean produced the best pasta of the event, a fantastic gnocchi with a San Marzono Marinara sauce with fresh Parmesan. Simple and elegant, also a fantastic pairing with the wine, a 2005 Zeyphyrus from Gershon Bachus Vintners. Photograph by Loren Scott.

Leonesse Cellars

2007 Zinfandel, Temecula typicity, tannic, a little earthiness, cherry and red stone fruit, oak, vanilla notes, medium finish.

Overall the weekend was a great time for all. The event had fantastic participation for it’s first year, and was much calmer and more sedate than the events involving the large wineries.

I look forward to next year.

3 thoughts on “Zin and Pasta Trail

  1. Pingback: Zin and Pasta Trail | Taste of Temecula | The Bottle and Cork - Napa and Sonoma Wine blog

  2. Thank you for taking the ride down the De Portola Wine Trail. This is the first of many events to follow. We want to graciously thank everyone who supported our first event and look forward to sharing wine with you in the future. Crispin, I am happy that you liked our wine.


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