Villa Toscano Old Vine Zinfandel (4)

Villa Toscano Old Vine Zinfandel 4-Pack
$59.99 $124.00 52% off List Price
2013 Old Vine Zinfandel, Shenandoah Valley


My pleasure to be a grape debater for this nice everyday zin.
In the glass this looks medium bodied with a typical dark red color. It smells fruity, like cherry candy and a little hot, some nice oak and spice aromas. Tastes fairly balanced and thankfully not that hot, good red berry fruit, slight oak, nice mouthfeel. It actually has better than expected acid and was decent with food. This would go well with some bbq, chili or even Italian dishes, but probably not lighter fare like salmon or chicken.
Overall this isn’t like a Wellington or Scott Harvey but still a well made wine. Something you don’t have to think too much about and won’t mind opening on a random night or for a party.

Thanks for the notes, but I have to ask - do you normally pair zin with salmon? Just curious, I’m not going to judge; I like cab (franc and sauvignon) with salmon and tuna sashimi and nigiri…

I’ve paired it with cedar plank king salmon cooked on the grill. Depends on the wine.

I agree. Grilled salmon with a restrained zinfandel works quite nicely.

Re grilling salmon on a cedar plank, a nice option is to grill salmon on a cedar shingle instead of a cedar plank. Cheaper and, to my taste, better.

You can get a square of #3 or #4 shingles a home improvement store for less than the price that same store will charge for the cedar planks they stock in the grill accessories area.

#3 and #4 shingles are low grade shingles - they are graded low because they have knots. In construction they are used for undercourses, not exposed to weather, and so will almost never be treated. When you use them in the grill, the knots will release more aromatics than the plain wood, imparting more flavor.

I usually trim a couple of inches off the thin end of the shingle, because that end catches on fire too easily. I put olive oil on the shingle, then put the fish on the shingle, with the thick edge of the fish on the thinner edge of the shingle. I put a layer of aluminum foil on the grill, then put the shingle and fish on the aluminum foil. The aluminum foil shields the shingle from direct flame. I also keep watch with a squirt bottle of water in case there is a flare up.

Simple, easy, and cheap. I bought a square of shingles about four years ago, and I still have half the square left. I keep the shingles in the garage, wrapped in plastic to keep them from drying out.

Usually pinot noir but sometimes zin.

Yes, your method is pretty much what I do. I think oil under the fish and foil under the plank is key. Costco usually has packs of planks that are reasonably priced. I’ll wind up only using two during the season.
I make a spicy rub with brown sugar. Man, I can’t wait for king salmon season - Costco usually also has the wild stuff fairly reasonable as well. It’s the best fresh fish there is, IMO. I used to fish for it when I lived in Northern CA every year.
I’ll take that over just about anything that swims, and dungeness crab over any shellfish.

One of the other problems I have with the planks is that after the first one or two uses, all of the aromatics have been expelled from the wood near the surface of the plank. So the effect of the plank diminishes quickly with repeat use. With the shingles, I’m always cooking with fresh cedar.

By the way, if one prefers planks to shingles, a good alternate is to buy an untreated piece of cedar fencing, then cut the board to desired lengths. Again cheaper than the planks in the grill accessories area.

All GD community tasting notes for this wine have been x-posted into cellar tracker, user names have been omitted to protect the guilty.