I love discovering ‘new-to-me’ vineyards. Even more so, I love meeting the winemaker! This past Spring I had the pleasure to meet up with Gay Callan, founder of Chatom Vineyards at the Beverly Hills Wine Festival. Gay, along with winemaker Mark Kunz, produce handcrafted, artisan wines of superior quality. That day, I tasted her unoaked Chardonnay, Syrah and Zinfandel. I was hooked, I immediately knew this was a suite of wine I needed in my cellar. I tasted dozens of wines that day, and these were among the best of the lot.
Tonight from my cellar, I selected her 2007 Zinfandel to accompany our blue cheese burgers. I opened the bottle at 5pm to aromas of spice, clove and earthy peat. There were huge tannins on the first sip which told me to let this bottle open up a bit. I came back at 6:30 and noted the fruit had made an appearance. At 8pm the nose opened up to a lovely perfume essence, with black cherry and earthy currant on the palate, and a smooth finish. It was well worth the wait to allow the wine to evolve. I could have sped the process up by aerating and decanting, which I normally do, but I love to watch the evolution of the wine noting the progression along the way.
At a price point of $20, this is a wine worth seeking out.
Retail price $20 Alcohol 15.5% http://www.chatomvineyards.com