I was shopping for dinner. I was going to grill pork chops rubbed with a coffee and coriander dry rub and accompany the chops with a Yukon Gold potato salad with a pesto and champagne vinaigrette. (I still had a small stash of pesto in the freezer that I’d made in the fall.) I had all the items I needed so I headed over to the wine section. Usually when I grill meat, I drink Zinfandel – my everyday choice the current Vintner’s Cuvée from Rosenblum; for special evenings, something from Ridge. However, a large floor display for 2008 Rook Columbia Valley caused me to change direction. The verbage accompanying the stack of bottles recommended serving it with pork or salmon. I thought, why not? I had enjoyed and wrote about the white blend from the Corvidae Wine Co. – the 2009 Crowe; now I’d try the red.
A blend of 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 40% Syrah, the wine is a deep rich purple. In the nose, red currants, plums, a bit of green pepper, a whiff of campfire, a bit of earthy funk, a little heat. On the palate, ripe fruit, graphite and white pepper spiciness; very dry. The wine finishes with a good bite of acidity and tannins. The wine surprised me since it is stylistically more Old World than New. Frankly, I was expecting a California fruit bomb with the requisite residual sugar. This is not the case with the 2008 Rook. Fruitful – yes; fruity – no. Another good value wine from Owen Roe.
As for the pairing, the chop and the Rook matched up well enough. However, I kept thinking that it would fare better with a red meat – steak or lamb.
2008 Rook Columbia Valley $12.99 on sale Whole Foods River St., Camb.MA.