Today, we’re going to talk about more wines that you (probably) can’t get your wine-lovin’ hands on. And I know that you want to hear about them, because you told me so.
I’m going to start by saying that I wasn’t totally blown away by these wines (received as samples), but I love, love the concept behind them. I also love that their website includes streaming reggae music, and liberal use of the word “surfeit.” But, as will come as no surprise to frequent 1WineDude.com readers, I digress…
The first, and the more impressive, of the wines hails from the sandy loam Margarita vineyard site in Paso Robles’ southwest – Martellotto’s 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s pleasant, with decent balance, clocks in at a relatively restrained 13.5% abv, is farmed sustainably, and is spot-on priced at $18. Interestingly, it’s the 5% Syrah component that really stands out for me on this wine (there’s 10% Merlot as well), which rounds out the finish with red fruit and peppery, dried herbs.
So why can’t you have any? Well, you can, but only if you buy through Big Hammer Wines. Oh, yeah, and there were only 34 barrels made of the stuff.
Although not quite as interesting as the Martellotto Cab, the next wine (also selling for about $18) definitely has a more interesting story…
The Agent for Change Wines brand bills itself as seeking “operatives for doing good works by drinking good wines” – they donate 50% (yes, that’s 5-0 and not 5.0) to charitable causes. They bill their 2006 Zinfandel (also Paso Robles) as “not a Zin you need a knife and fork to dig into… it’s a Zin you just want to keep drinking.”
In terms of the charity benefiting from the Zin, here’s the skinny:
“Agent for Change Wines is a portfolio of négociant wines produced to create awareness and raise funds for worthy causes. By drinking charitably, Agent for Change Wines donates a portion of the proceeds (50% in 2006) to worthy non-profit organizations. The first vintage is donating proceeds to healthcare outreach/clinical care for vineyard workers.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but something strikes me as brilliant and obvious about that cause – as if it’s likely (long) overdue for a bit of attention from the wine world.
In terms of flavor profile, the A4C Zin has more in common with Italian Primitivo than it does with its geographically closer California Zin cousins. I found the A4C to be chili-friendly with lower-than-expected alcohol, higher-than-expected acidity, and middle-of-the-road dark berry fruit.
Also available from Big Hammer – but only 500 cases were made.
Anyway, two fairly-priced wines, some good causes, and a difficult procurement factor – because you asked for it!