Updated 2009-09-10 17:20:41 ID=490:1

© 2009 The Romantic Table
©2009 The Romantic Table 2009-09-08 21:29:31:198
©2009 The Romantic Table

Clayhouse Vineyard Adobe Red 2006, a California analog of the traditional Rhone style red wine blend --with the exception that the signature red grape of the Rhone region, Syrah is replaced by California's iconic Zinfandel.

California Central Coast Wine Review| Clayhouse Vineyard Adobe Red 2006


In this California Central Coast Wine Value Review we take a look at Clayhouse Vineyard's California - Rhone style blend, Clayhouse Vineyard Adobe Red 2006.

We were looking for a Rhone style blend when we came across Clayhouse Adobe Red. The blend is almost a classic Rhone blend, but this being California, Zinfandel (58%) replaces Syrah (17%) as the backbone of the wine. Petite Sirah (15%) and Malbec (12%) round out the wine.

From the Clayhousewines.com website:

We sourced grapes from five appellations on the Central Coast and one outside appellation. The blend is Paso Robles (31%), Monterey (40%), Lodi (12%), Santa Barbara (11%), Hames Valley (5%) and Santa Lucia Highlands (1%).

The Adobe Red is a proprietary blend with ripe flavors of cherry, plum and vanilla bean, with rich spicy blueberry and cherry notes. The tannins are supple, and the balanced oak character adds an additional vanilla note.

Background.

In reality even most "single varietal wines" are blended to some extent by the winemaker to make a particular style, or to enhance or reduce some particular aspect of the wine. The great wines of France like Bordeaux wines for example are blends of wines grown in a specific area. Bordeaux is a blend of up to six legally permitted wines.

We personally find these wines interesting because they give a creative winemaker a lot of latitude to create some really interesting wines. Adobe Red looked interesting since it appears to be a California analog of the traditional Rhone style red wine blend --with the exception that the signature red grape of the Rhone region, Syrah is replaced mostly by California's iconic Zinfandel.

This particular blend contains rather robust wine varietals from warm areas like Paso Robles and Lodi, so we expected that fruit ripening was not going to be an issue and there should be lots of good fruit and body in the wine.

Our Observations.

When we open the bottle and poured the wine, we noticed the dark berry and stone fruit aromas we were anticipating. In the glass the wine was a transparent dark ruby red. Swirling the glass we noticed slow developing, long running tears indicating substantial structure to the wine as you would expect from the components of the blend.

On the palette, the wine was rich and complex, with lots of fruit but not overwhelming, and ample balanced tannins and acidity. The food friendly alcohol level at 14.1 was not overwhelming, and enough to give a sense of a nice mouth full.

The finish was long, a bit dry but not harsh.

Our overall impression is that this wine, like its name implies, is a satisfying rustic style wine with a bit of Central Coast country chic. It is a great choice for pairing with a mesquite fired barbecue of grilled Carne Asada, rajas (sauteed chili poblano and onions) and a traditional tomato salsa like Pico de Gallo.




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A tip from Sue!

Get a Black Pepper Mill

There's nothing that substitutes for freshly cracked black pepper. You can find pepper mills in all price ranges. Just get one that looks like it will hold up well over continual use. Freshly cracked black pepper can really enhance the smell and final taste of a recipe!