How does a Syrah, Zinfandel, red blend from the West Coast
Taste when you raise it for a toast?
I’ve had the hit musical Hamilton on the brain for months and I couldn’t help but think about the opening number when I was pouring a glass of The Federalist Dueling Pistols.
The name of the wine was inspired by the famous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. The 2014 vintage is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Zinfandel from the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma.
It’s a great concept for a California red wine blend. Zinfandel, a proudly American grape (and definitely the Hamilton in this duel), faces off with Syrah, a grape that can be on its own or in blends, but is typically blended with Rhone varieties including Grenache and Mourvedre.
The Syrah and Zinfandel grapes for Dueling Pistols were separately fermented. After blending, the wine spent 15 months in 20% new American and Hungarian oak barrels. American oak was used to add sweeter notes, Hungarian to add spice.
Fortunately for us, this duel has a happy outcome – a rich and robust wine that’s enjoyable to drink.
Dark purple in color as you would expect with these two grapes, The Federalist Dueling Pistols has spicy berry and smoky aromas. The taste is bold with flavors of black cherry, ripe plum and blackberry rounded out with black pepper, root beer and a touch of smoked meat. Smooth tannins and good acidity give the wine a supple mouthfeel.
Pair the Federalist Dueling Pistols with roasted chicken or turkey, or red meat. Fittingly, it’s perfect at an all-American barbecue.
The only duel you might find yourself in is fighting over the last sip.
A bottle of The Federalist 2014 Dueling Pistols costs $29.
The Federalist wines are produced by Terlato Wines. Dueling Pistols is not associated with Hamilton: An American Musical.