Motto “Unabashed”

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Motto
“Unabashed”
2014
Zinfandel
California

45% Cabernet Sauvignon,
33% Petit Verdot, 12% Petite
Sirah, 10% Zinfandel

     I had this whole thing planned out and then the entire idea went south while I was at the store. I was going to start featuring a few of my favorite Burgundies but Motto wine was on sale and it makes too much sense to go over all three of their wines. So, here we are! 

     As I believe I previously stated, we actually carry this wine by the glass at work. It’s currently the only Zinfandel we offer on the “by the glass” (BTG) list and has done rather well for itself. It’s hard for it to compete, I think, with some of the other labels we offer. The winery itself seems to be rather new, so the name isn’t as widely known, as many of the other California wineries are. I do feel, however, that their wines are highly underrated. As a winery, they place their reputation and advertise themselves as “boundary pushers” known to “ruffle feathers”. That’s just what they’d have to do to make a name in a region full of other companies trying to do the same. Their competition is stiff, but I really believe they’ve found themselves a nice little niche with the wines they offer.

     Last week we discussed their Cabernet Sauvignon blend “Backbone”. I immediately noted some caramel on the nose and I don’t really get that here. Zinfandels are known for being lighter grapes, similar to Pinot Noirs. However, unlike Pinot Noirs, the Zinfandel grape tends to have higher tannins and acidity, giving it the illusion of being a far bolder wine than it actually is. That is probably one of the main reasons we have it on our menu, when the majority of our food is steak related. Anyway, the reason I went off on that tangent is solely to illustrate that I get mostly soft red fruit on the nose and very little oak whatsoever. It’s soft, it’s light, and it’s unusually delicate. I admit, I don’t drink enough Zinfandels. They’re truly few and far between among the other varietals I tend to frequent. This wine, however, makes me want to have more.

     The palette is full of the softness the nose alluded to. Mostly red fruits like raspberry and red cherry, with hints of tobacco. I like how delicate the wine itself is. It isn’t as overbearing as a lot of the other wines I drink tend to be. This truly is bold without the bite. What an interesting concept? Rubbing my tongue along my teeth, I notice some of the tannins, but it isn’t nearly as high as I thought it would be. Tannins are highlighted as a “fuzzy” feeling you get on your teeth and gums after tasting particular wines. I used to think it was the weirdest things until I was told it was something I was supposed to be feeling. The wine finishes beautifully with subtle oak and red raspberries. Not an exceptionally long finish, but a lovely one, nonetheless.  At this price, Motto Wineries is truly creating delicious wine with more bang for your buck. I believe this label is advertised for $15.00 a bottle on the website. That’s a steal, if you ask me. I’ll be buying this more often.

     This should go nicely with what I am making this evening. Admittedly, I didn’t even try to pair the meal with the wine. I should have, I know, I know. It is quite a surprise that this will compliment my homemade raviolis. The tenderloin, however, is another story. I do subscribe to the notion what you should enjoy what you’re drinking, regardless of if it works with your meal, so to each their own.  I mean, you’re the one ultimately enjoying it, right? Tonight’s feast is homemade ravioli stuffed with swiss chard, kale, mushrooms, caramelized shallots and goat cheese, served with a sherry cream sauce and beef tenderloin. I am literally waiting with bated breathe. Keep your eyes peeled for the recipe because it is a must share! Nevermind the fact that it’s painfully easy, as well.

     Join me next week as I wrap up my tasty little tour of Motto Wineries. The next post with feature Motto’s “Gung Ho”. This should be a nice red blend and I’m sure I’ll find something equally as nice to make for it. If you have a particular wine you’d like me to feature, shoot me an email! I may have my favorites, but I love discovering new wines as much as possible. As always, I appreciate any and all feedback you provide me. This whole experience has been humbling and I genuinely look forward to seeing where it all takes me. Until next week, drink up and be merry!!

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