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Wine Guerrilla 2011 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

View of the Vineyards.

If the theme and artwork of Wine Guerrilla do not have you thinking, “snakebite!” then you may consider yourself young. Or else, very, very . . . unfamiliar with the early cinematic works of Woody Allen.

Former music producer turned-winemaker Bruce Patch’s Wine Guerrilla may look a bit quirky on first glance, but he’s got a savvy business plan — complete with Guerrilla wear — and a well-crafted product, with an exclusive focus on Sonoma County Zinfandel.

Despite the screw-cap bottles — which may be a plus at summer barbecues — some of Patch’s single-vineyard Zins may well reward some patient storage in the cellar. The label artwork by artist Sean Colgin make them all the more collectable.

The 2011 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($25) is a blend from vineyards Mounts, Adel’s, Forchini and Gino’s. The nose displays some dusty herb, sage, and coriander, but it’s not nearly as brushy as the 2011 Carreras Ranch Zinfandel ($40).

Hey, 2011 was a bummer of a year to grow and ripen Zinfandel, and this plush and plummy wine came in quite well, with fine-grained tannins and the kind of laser-focused, concentrated red plum fruit and graphite notes that lovers of certain young Cabernets will appreciate.

If you like a warmer, strawberry preserve flavor to your Zin, with milk chocolate aromas and, maybe, honey glazed ham — or is that the food pairing? — then try the 2010 Mounts Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($35).

At 14.5 percent or less alcohol by volume, these are certainly not some of the stronger, hotter Zins of the area. But if you must get your buzz on from this bottle, remember: “you must suck out the poison!”


The Guerilla’s Skewered Spiced Lamb

From Grillin’ with Wine Guerrilla

  • 2 pounds lamb, cut in 1 1/2 inch squares
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 T turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 T Worcestershire
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Wine Guerrilla Zinfandel
  • Small white boiling onions, pre-boiled and skinned
  • 1/4 pound Canadian bacon

In a large dish or bowl mix all ingredients except lamb, boiling onions and wine. Add lamb and cover with red wine. Marinate overnight or at least 6 hours and bring to room temperature before grilling. Cut bacon in 1 inch squares. Make sure boiling onions are cooled.

Remove lamb from marinade and pat dry. Skewer 1 piece lamb, 1 piece bacon, 1 onion, and repeat until skewers are filled. Place on medium-hot grill for 10 minutes, turning often.

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