Happy… um, ‘lin-uary? If ever there was a name that inspired an impulse buy, it’s this three pack of Red Zeppelin.
Of course, Stillman Brown and his team of hard-rockin’ winemakers knew what they were invoking when they chose the name “Red Zeppelin”. But don’t think that the name is only a reference to the band. In fact, Stillman’s got a whole philosophy behind the name. Check out the company’s own description of the Red Zeppelin name:
The now-famous Le Cigare Volant label… first used on a 1984 California Rhone blend, wittily if a bit preciously relates as explanation for its image the tale of the village of Chateauneuf du Pape’s 1953 ordinance banning the landing of UFOs in local vineyards, the purported result of a cigar-shaped “flying saucer” scare. As something of a skeptic in these matters I duly considered the tale, and it seemed to me that those stereotypically excitable Frenchmen were suffering from postwar stress syndrome; indeed, unconsciously recalling an incident from the Great War. The Germans used rigid airships extensively in WW1, though the technology wasn’t up to the mission. One large Zeppelin raid on London was hit by unexpected high winds (perhaps the then-undiscovered jetstream) that blew the dirigibles astray; some crashed in France, one was never found. The crash of a huge airship, filled with hydrogen gas and made of toxic metals, into a valuable vineyard just before harvest would be terrible indeed: explosions, mangled vines and twisted wreckage, the Germans stuffing their faces with Grenache… I saw it all clearly, as through an overfined Marsanne.
With a complex concept like that behind the brand, you know the wines are going to be blessed with the same focus on detail, flavor and fun. In fact, the Red Zeppelin brand has been hailed by the SF Chronicle as one of the top 100 California Wines in 2002, won various Gold medals in competition during 2005 and 2006, won the Syrah Shoot-Out in 2008, and even been told “it rocks” in a featured review by Rachel Ray. That’s why we’re certain that you’ll be enjoying this wine for the taste, not for the name.
The first bottle is the 2005 Red Zeppelin Syrah. The fruit from the remote Bear Valley Vineyard forms the heavy rhythm that ties the flavors together. Intense, brooding, full of rich red and black fruits and spices, this well-aged wine comes out a delicious classic. It’s possibly the biggest thing they’ve ever made.
Then you’ll be enjoying the Red Zeppelin NV (2005/2006) Vinidiction, a Cabernet/Syrah blend from two different vineyards in Monterey & San Luis Obispo counties. This wine is spicy and complex, like a folk ballad reinterpreted, with a jangling undertaste that you’ll find hard to let go.
And finally, you’ll get a bottle of the flagship 2005 Black Zeppelin wine. This wine is strong, deep, thoughtful, and tastes of the traditions from where the Red Zep has been drawn. The Alicante Bouschet fruit is the first planting of its kind in roughly sixty years, and the taste of the black fruits will fill your palate and maybe even blow your mind.
Together, these three bottles give you the full Red Zeppelin experience. Call it a reunion if you like. Just be sure to bring it on home.
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