This old vine field blend from Enkidu's owner and winemaker Phillip Staehle is 60% Zinfandel, 24% Carignane and 8% each Alicante Bouschet and Petite Sirah, a proportion that reflects the way vines were planted in the three vineyards that go into this appealing, rustic blend. One of them, Bedrock Vineyard, clocks in at 125 years old.
In this old way of making wine, all four varietals are planted, crushed and fermented together. Those wine pioneers must have known what they were doing because the assemblage makes a wonderfully vivid and complex red wine. With its flavors of dark berries and wild herbs, "E" recalls village wines of the southern Rhone. I took one sip and wanted another and another.
Great with burgers, barbecue and especially those baby lamb chops called scottaditta —"burn your fingers." But it's also supple enough to work with grilled vegetables and main course salads.
Region: Sonoma County
Price: $18 to $22
Style: Juicy and lush
What it goes with: Burgers, barbecue, grilled lamb chops or vegetables, salads
Where to find it: Anthony's Fine Food & Wine Bar in La Cañada Flintridge, (818) 790-0440, anthonysfoodandwine.com; BestWinesOnline, (888) 817-8880, www.bestwinesonline.com; Five Vines Wine Bar in San Juan Capistrano, (949) 800-9145, fivevineswinebar.com; Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, (760) 745-1200, www.holidaywinecellar.com; K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, www.klwines.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (800) 76WINEX, www.winex.com; and the Wine Club in Santa Ana, (714) 835-6485, www.thewineclub.com.
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