2007 Loxton Sonoma Hillside Vineyards, Sonoma Valley, Zinfandel “Not Bad for the 4th (Part 2)

Not Bad for the 4th (Part 2)

I discovered a hidden gem of the Sonoma Valley, just off Highway 12 past Kenwood, CA is a little road that shoots off to the west/south-west called Dunbar Rd.  Dunbar Road is home to some great wineries and some great people.  Chris Loxton is one of them.  He has a small winery on Bruce England’s property, you should stop by and check him out.  He makes fantastic Zins, Syrahs and some yummy Port.  If you remember to, ask about the golden fire hydrant, it’s definitely a story worth hearing.  Loxton Cellars can be found online at http://www.loxtonwines.com/.

Without further ado…

2007 Loxton Sonoma Hillside Vineyards, Sonoma Valley, Zinfandel

2007 Loxton Zinfandel
2007 Loxton Zinfandel

The Nose: This wine has a huge spicy nose, chock full of blackberry jam with a large dose of fresh cracked black pepper.  There is a definite swath of anise lingering in the glass.

The Taste: Ripe and juicy blackberry and plumb, the black pepper asserts itself right behind the fruit, there is a subtle finish of vanilla.

The Mouth Feel: This wine is surprisingly thin for how the nose presents itself, but somewhat lacking in solid structure.  A light touch of tannins at the start that disappear by the mid-palate and a very supple jammy finish.

The Color: This is a beauty, a purple and burgundy gemstone.

The Nitty Gritty:
ABV 14.2%
465 Cases produced
$25 From Loxton’s Website

The Verdict:
Although a bit thin in the skin this wine is completely drinkable and is probably as good as it’s going to get.  It matched up great with my spicy ribs and was a great dinner guest.  It also paired nicely with the fireworks!  Even though it was a bit lackluster, I still heartily suggest you go out to Loxton Cellars for a visit.  Chat with Chris if you can, he has always been a great winemaker to talk wine with.  He will share his winemaking style and experiences with you gladly.

83 Pts. / B-

2007 Loxton Zinfandel
2007 Loxton Zinfandel


Check back tomorrow for the last installment of “Not Bad for the 4th,”  I’ll have the recipe for some killer pork loin for you tomorrow!

Lazy Independence Day Post a Recommendation and a Review “Not Bad for the 4th” (Part 1)

Howdy Y’all, I’ve been feeling exceptionally lazy and unmotivated to do much after finishing up my Summer inter-session class last week, but I did cook some great food over the weekend and definitely wanted to share this recipe for stuffed pork loin with you.  But first,  I don’t think it would be a good 4th of July without some good ass BBQ Ribs.  I was up at the Windsor, CA Farmer’s Market on Sunday morning and one of the vendors we stopped by was a Spicy little shop selling spices and spice blends.  The husband and wife team were fantastic and we chatted about cooking and wine for quite some time.  The husband, Patrick Fallon, Cellar Master over at that little winery Jordan, and his wife Kim, who writes a great little food blog over at http://www.voiceofthefood.com/.  Anyhow, I picked up a couple of mixed rubs, one nice and spicy for ribs (see photos) and one mole (keep an eye out for a future “Not Bad”).

Sunday Night was ribs and 2007 Loxton Sonoma Hillside Vineyards, Sonoma Valley, Zinfandel

I did the ribs just a skosh different this time, I patted them dry with paper towels and then liberally coated the ribs with the “Red Rub.”

Baby Back Ribs
Rub Liberally yeah, rub it in!

The Red Rub is a mix of Ancho, Chipotle, Cayenne, Black Pepper and probably some other stuff (I’m sure it’s a secret).  Drop them an email at info@cooksspices.com to pick some up for yourself.  Anyhow, I lathered up these bad boys, covered them up and let them soak up spice in the fridge for about three hours.

Anyhow, standard cooking here.  Fire up some coals in the chimney and once ready, put them off to one side for indirect heat grilling.  Sear ribs on both sides then put on the side furthest from the coals and cover.

ribs on the grill
Look good don't they?

Cook, turning around (bone side down) every 30-40 minutes, total cook time should be about 2 – 2 1/2 Hours.  Remove from heat, tent with foil and let stand for about 10 min.


I heated up some leftover Woodford Reserve BBQ Sauce, for me, and some Sweet Baby Ray’s for the wife in 3 oz ramekins to dip the ribs in.  Side dish of mashed taters and a side salad.  Paired this one up with a nice little Zinfandel from my buddy Chris Loxton over at Loxton Cellars from Sonoma Valley.  Yum!

not bad part1
Not Bad for a 4th of July (Part 1)

Check back tomorrow for the second part of this awesome weekend, a review of the Loxton Zinfandel.


2008 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel

I have been dying for some good weather so I can fire up the barbecue and do some of the things that people normally do here in Sonoma County this time of the year.  However, up until this weekend we’ve been getting soaked by the rain.  I”m starting to wonder if this is how people in Seattle feel most of the time.  Anyhow, the forecast over the Holiday weekend was outstanding, the clouds parted and the sun shined through!  I’ve been keeping up with Seghesio on twitter(@seghesio) and they keep telling me I need to have some of their Zinfandel with my BBQ, so I obliged and grabbed the only bottle offered at Safeway while I was picking up some ingredients for the BBQ.

2008 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel

So here is their 2008 Sonoma County Zinfandel

The nose: Ripe plums simmer up through a fairly hot nose, there is some spice, a touch of toasted oak/vanilla and that standard issue Jammy Zin character.

The Taste: You are greeted with a 50-50 blast of big fruit and black pepper.  When I first tried this wine the fruit was a bit over ripe or cooked however as it has opened up that seems to have faded and now is on par with the other big jam fruity Zins.

The Mouth Feel: For being such a big fruit bomb there are not enough tannins to support the wine and it comes off a touch flabby.  I would expect more structure for that much fruit.  The mid palate through finish is a bit weak.

The Color: The wine is a dark purple thinning at the edges, very clear and pretty in the glass.

The Nitty Gritty:
15.5% ABV
Barrel aged for 10 months in 75% American (20% new) and 25% French oak
89% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 3% Syrah
Average Brix at Harvest 26.8°
I paid a little over $20 and have seen it online from $20-$28

The Verdict: I’m not a big fan of the big jammy Zins so this one falls out of my favor a bit due to that, but it’s very typical of many other Zinfandels.  There are no major flaws that I could detect and it pairs nicely with the sweet, tart and spicy BBQ sauces I used.

81 Pts. or a C+/B-

Tasting Notes and Seghesio
Tasting Notes and Seghesio

Nitty Gritty reference from Seghesio’s Website http://www.seghesio.com/