Wine of the Week: Bruce Patch Wines 2014 Harris Kratka Alexander Valley Zinfandel
The last time I dropped in at the Wine Guerrilla tasting room in Forestville, former headquarters of Zinfandel strongman Bruce Patch, I joked that Patch had moved on—taking a cache of barrels with him, moving fast, further into the jungles of wine country. But where did he go?
Well, I found Bruce Patch—or his wine, anyway, which is still instantly recognizable by the artwork of Sean Colgin, whose Matisse-like, slightly spooky ladies grace the labels of Bruce Patch Wines and Equavinity Wines, a collaboration with Russian River Vineyards.
A partisan of Zinfandel, Patch made a splash when he debuted at the annual ZAP Zinfandel Festival, handing out red star temporary tattoos that proved to be irresistible to the Zinned-up crowd. Although I don’t see him on the list for this year’s Grand Tasting, which will be held February 25 at Pier 27 in San Francisco—he’s under the radar again—his classically styled, rich and brambleberry-fruited Zin is a good warm-up to the main event.
The Bruce Patch 2014 Harris Kratka Alexander Valley Zinfandel ($35) smells like a bunch of boysenberries that just stumbled out of a smoky barbecue pit. More sweet and spiked with Southwest chili pepper than sooty with charcoal, the spicy heat follows the aroma to the palate, joined by liberal dollops of blackberry jam. Firm but not fatiguingly tannic, the finish resolves on a more spicy than sweet note. Classic Sonoma County Zinfandel that’s heady, (15.4 percent alcohol by volume) but balanced on its own terms—not some wild-eyed ideologue’s.
ZAP Zinfandel Festival 2017, February 23-25, 2017. Pier 27, James R. Herman Cruise Terminal, The Embarcadero, San Francisco. Grand Tasting, 11am–4:30pm.
Recipe: Easy BBQ Steak Rub
From Judy Stabile via Bruce Patch’s cookbook
4 1/2 inch thick bone in rib eye steaks
1 T. kosher salt
1 t. Hungarian sweet paprika
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. coarsely ground fresh black pepper
1 t. dried ground thyme
1 t. finely ground coffee beans
Sprinkle rub on each side of each steak. Allow steaks to come to room temperature and then grill.
See last week's wine of the week!