The Phillips boys know wine. They are fifth generation wine growers and they specialize in Rhone style wines as well as the mighty Zinfandel grape that the Lodi region of California is known for. This tasting featured two of their offerings, the reserve Zinfandel known as Earthquake, and a little known varietal called Symphony.
Old Lodi Vines, yielding supreme
Like ancient volcanoes, releasing their steam.
Danger is present, felt but unseen
Vines of such power, such high self-esteem.
Intentionally hostile, purposely bold
Nice not an option, when truth must be told.
Energy captured, awaiting release
Zinfandel Vines, the great seismic beasts.
Instilling such fear, a risk few will take
Nothing prepares you for the Zinfandel Quake.
Are you ready for the big one?
Put simply, this big brother to Michael & David’s Seven Deadly Zins is a powerhouse of flavor. Big and jammy, it is a mouthful of bright raspberries with hints of clove, vanilla, coffee, chocolate and wood spices that linger through the long smooth finish. This wine fears no food. Bring on the beef, the lamb and if you happen to have a Tuscan boar turning on a spit nearby (Or some nice smoked and stuffed chops if you don’t), bring that too. This is also one of those dry red wines that is a great pairing for chocolate desserts, so if there is a chocolate cake waiting in the wings after the boar, be sure to save a glass.
2007 Michael and David Symphony
Symphony is a hybrid of Muscat de Alexandria and Grenache Gris developed in the 1940’s by Dr. Harold Olmo at U.C. Davis. The Michael and David vines were some of the first planted of this varietal which is almost exclusively found in California.
I have had the Symphony grape on one other occasion (actually grown outside of California) and it seemed to be a combination of a Gewrztraminer and a Gruner giving it a floral lightness combined with a solidly acidic punch. The Michael and David Symphony is a horse of an entirely different color probably due to the much warmer climate of Lodi. This Symphony is much sweeter with an almost citrusy/melony juicyness followed by an acidic finish that contains a slight funkyness shown by some muscat wines. It is quite tasty, but unique. Because it has a unique flavor profile I’m kind of having a hard time with food pairings except to say that spicy asian flavors like Thai food would be the best compliment. Honestly, the best pairing for this wine may just be a group of good friends and a couple of good stories after a hectic week.