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2000 Dashe "Todd Brothers Ranch" Zinfandel, Alexander Valley

Dashe Cellars has the unusual distinction of being one of only a few local Bay Area wineries. They are located next to one of the others (Rosenblum) in a nice facility in Alameda -- hardly the place you'd expect to find a winery. Don't let the relatively urban industrial location fool you, though. Like their neighbors, Dashe Cellars are serious about what they are doing.

Dashe is the brain child (love child?) of Michael and Anne Dashe, both accomplished winemakers and enologists with an impressive portfolio of past accomplishments spanning properties like Ridge, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Cloudy Bay, Far Niente, Schramsberg, Chappellet, Titus, and Chateau La Dominique (Medoc). Together this husband and wife team have been producing small, single vineyard wines primarily from the Sonoma County region since their first vintage in 1996.

This Zinfandel is a blend of 95% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah, and 2% Carignane, all from the Todd Brothers Ranch vineyard site in the Alexander Valley sub-appellation of Sonoma. It saw 100% French oak (17% new) for 14 months before bottling. 1033 cases produced.

Tasting Notes:
Ruby colored in the glass, this wine has a substantial nose filled with aromas of blackberry and black cherry, with some meaty overtones of bacon fat and chocolate. In the mouth, flavors of blackberry pie mix with white pepper, and a hint of green wood for an overall experience that is balanced between fruit and spice. Despite being 15% alcohol, the finish is smooth and heat free.

Food Pairing:
I brought this over to a friend's house to complement what ended up being a fabulous dinner: Alton Brown's Baby Back Ribs, my Very Bad For You(tm) mashed potatoes (think whole sticks of butter and entire packages of Boursin cheese), and blanched green beans with garlic and olive oil.

Overall Score: 8.5/9

How much?: $26

This wine is available from various Internet retailers. Try Wine-Searcher.

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