Trentadue 2003 Sonoma County "Old Patch Red" ($15.00)
Although it's not a true field blend because its mix of varieties come from separate lots, Old Patch Red is made very much in the style of the old California tradition. It's a blend of 55.5 percent Zinfandel, 21.5 percent Petite Sirah, 7 percent Carignan, 4 percent Sangiovese and 1 percent Syrah, grown in old-vines vinyeards in Sonoma's Dry Creek and Alexander valleys plus a bit from Lake County. It's an inky blackish-purple color with a brilliant reddish-violet edge, offering appetizing mixed-berry fruit - the Zinfandel shows clearly here - with good back notes of dark plums and just a hint of "green" herbaceousness. Similar on the palate, there's ripe, "sweet" bery fruit, but it's nicely structured with lemon-squirt acidity that saves it from jammy simplicity. It's powerful at 14.5 percent alcohol, but round, ripe fruit flavors ameliorate any sense of alcoholic heat. US Importer: (Jun 20, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: This big, powerful red would go naturally with grilled meats, even burgers, but it did well, too, with rustic Italian-style fare, Italian sausages and sauteed rapini (broccoli rabe) over penne pasta.v



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