Wine Review: Zaca Mesa Estate Z Gris 2008

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Great Wine, Though I Wish the Tasting Room Would Burn Down

The Zaca Mesa Z Gris is a Rhone Rosé play, and it is pretty stellar, despite the pretentious popularity of the Zaca Mesa Tasting Room in Santa Barbara Wine Country. I made my inaugural visit a few weeks ago and am now stained for life. Let’s just say that most people were either hitting on one another, buying copious amounts of $10 jarred olives, or simply claiming that the wines “tasted like shit.”

To put it bluntly, it was a Douchebag Pit Stop, no doubt a mistaken rendevous on the way to Douche Mecca: Las Vegas. It almost pains me to tell you how much I enjoyed this wine, because I almost want the tasting room to burn down. Anyway, we’re not here to wax poetical on what’s wrong with the young wine industry today. We’re here to tell you about this delicious rosé.

COLOR: Well, it’s pink. Deal with it, sissy.

NOSE: Unlike any wine I have ever had. Oranges, 50/50 Bars, more oranges, dirt, and finally a sharp shot of strawberry. Someone tell me a white wine that smells like oranges, strawberries and dirt. It can’t be done. This wine defies all logic. AHHHH!

TASTE: Great structure and mix of flavors. Very complex flavors of strawberry, sharp minerality, peaches, a little poop perfume invading the nose as you drink, and finally: ORANGES. The oranges won’t go away. By the way, by “poop perfume” I mean that there is a very Old World, earthy barnyard scent that invades your senses as you drink. The wine is made from Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Counoise and Cinsaut. Caramel finish that is so common among rosés.

WITH FOOD: Great with a firm-fleshed fish or a barbecued chicken. Don’t use BBQ sauce. Instead, season whatever the white meat is with some simple salt and pepper. Try it with a spinach, avocado and strawberry salad tossed with a homemade vinaigrette. Preferably for a hot day.

WHERE TO BUY: $13.69 at!

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