Hard to believe it's been only eight years since the young Morgan Twain-Peterson started making wine in a minuscule converted chicken coop. He grew up in wine: His father is Joel Peterson of Ravenswood, so Twain-Peterson knows his Zin. But he's not into making just another fruity California Zinfandel. His mission has been to seek out historic, sometimes forgotten vineyards, including Bedrock Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. For his Old Vine Zinfandel, he's sourced grapes from a handful of old vineyards, mostly in Sonoma Valley but also in Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley — and Lodi.
Full of craggy character, the 2013 Bedrock "Old Vine" Zinfandel carries the taste of dark, wizened berries, wild herbs, spice and peppercorns. And yet for all its gorgeous fruit, the wine has a dark undertone that fascinates. Maybe it's the fact that it's not 100% Zinfandel but includes small amounts of not only reds such as Carignane, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Petite Sirah but also (get out your copy of Jancis Robinson's "Wine Grapes") Abouriou, Aubun and other relatively obscure whites.
Pour this wine with a great burger, grilled steak or chops, Santa Maria barbecue or any kind of barbecue.
Price: About $25
Style: Gorgeous fruit with a dark undertone
What it goes with: burgers, steak, chops, barbecue, roast chicken, duck breast
Where to find it: BestWinesOnline in Santa Ana, (888) 817-8880,
Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, www.hitimewine.net;
K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, www.klwines.com;
Lincoln Fine Wines in Venice, (310) 392-7816, www.lincolnfinewines.com;
Urban Radish in Los Angeles, (213) 892-1570, www.urban-radish.com;
Wally's Wine & Spirits in West Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606, www.wallywine.com;
the Wine Country in Signal Hill, (562)597-8303, www.thewinecountry.com;
the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, www.winehouse.com;
and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111 and (800) 678-9463, www.whwc.com.