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1979 Sausal Sonoma Zin?

I'm catering a rather high end, small affair for some serious wine afficionados and wine judges. They are supplying the wine and it is up to me to create their menu based on what they're providing.

I have the first two courses are already paired just fine, but I am in need of two main courses to go with a 1979 Sausal Sonoma zinfandel and I'm having a hard time finding adequate information on what this will be like. Any input would be great!

FYI, the first two courses are going to be paired with a Langworth von Simmern 1971 Rheingau Eltviller Sonnenberg and will feature sea urchin and lobster. Each course is small, so two main courses are needed for that zin.

I always get such great wine advice here...thanks in advance!

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  1. I'm not sure about that zin in particular. But in general, it will still have some fruit and spice and be rather plush in mouth feel (if it has been stored well). Will probably be a little low on acid, Definitely should be paired with pork, lamb or beef. A recipe with a bit of char. I wouldn't go with a rich cream or butter sauce as I don't think it will have the acids or tannin to cut through the cream.

    2 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95

      "in general, it will still have some fruit and spice"

      being unfamiliar with the wine, why do you think this?

      If you think it will be low in acidity (which does not bodes well for age, does it?) wouldn't you think a less rich dish than lamb or beef? In keeping with Zin heritage, how about a lean venison or better yet buffalo?

      1. re: FrankJBN

        My experience with Zins generally, and searching cellartracker notes for reviews of old Sausal Zins.

        I'm definitely sure that it will be lower in acidity than say a Burgandy of the same age (in general). I think what to pair with a low acid wine really depends on the person. There's definitely ways and cuts of lamb and beef that don't read super fatty/rich to me, but definitely YMMV.

    2. Again, l am not familiar with that specific wine, but had a 1979 Sutter Home Amador magnum some months back and was perfect with grilled butterflied leg of lamb.

      1. All I know about Sausal is that I enjoyed this $15 wine for current drinking in the 80's and 90s. I would never have anticipated (and today I am not sure I believe) that these wines would age gracefully for 3 decades+.

        1. As to your menu, I suggest you look to any recommendations for extremely aged reds.

          At 33 years of age, I can't imagine the Sausal has any of what are thought of as Zinfandelof characteristic flavors/aromas.

          1 Reply
          1. re: FrankJBN

            Frank? Just curious, are you familiar with this wine? Why would you think that?

          2. I have not tried an aged Sausal. Typically, a Zin that aged won't taste like Zin, it will taste more like a cab blend.
            Please report back and let us know how it went!