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Pacific Edge “Hell & Back” Zinfandel
Paso Robles, CA 2008

Don’t get me wrong…this woman is definitely not scorned! Pacific Edge’s Hell & Back Zinfandel may have taken a winemaker to hell and back to produce, but don’t let the name fool you when it comes to expecting “classic” California Zinfandel taste. This Zin is a unique and great tasting value!

The French company, Castel Freres is the owner of this wine. Their U.S. company, Luneau USA, Inc. is the sole importer for Castel Freres, the owner of the Nicolas Wine Shops and the largest wine negociant in France, as well as the fourth largest wine company globally. Luneau USA’s marketing is based on the simple fact that American consumers want quality wines from a trusted source. In responding to the needs of the American consumer, Luneau’s offerings have expanded to include wines from several other countries, including the United States’ California regions.

Pacific Edge Wines is located out of San Miguel, CA and the grapes sourced for this Hell & Back Zinfandel are from the coastlines of Paso Robles. The wine poured a crimson red and was majestically clear. Very beautiful when swirling. The nose gave way to bright berries and currants with a hint of white pepper – a soft spice if you will. As noted in the posts’ title, hell hath no fury on this wine as you might expect from the given name and label. It was smooth with berries and cherries up front. Higher acidity than most California Zins and very light in texture with a medium body. A slight black pepper on a long finish played great with food pairing. As one who drinks a lot of California Zins, I was astounded by the ability to pair this wine with food. It goes without saying that California Zins are bold and fruity and pair well with bold foods, such as BBQ, pizza, etc. Hell & Back Zinfandel seems to have been produced in more of a European style with a bit higher acidity and softness of fruit. This Zin would and did pair with almost anything!

The night the bottle was opened, I served the wine with a classic grilled steak dinner…paired beautifully with the beef. Second night the wine stood just as tall and paired wonderfully with a grilled chicken salad. On a separate occasion I opened a second bottle and it stood up to a spaghetti dinner’s marinara sauce as if it were a chianti. It seems there is no limit to what this wine will drink with, including on its own.

As much as the name may fool you as to the style of Zinfandel you may be in for, it is a good and fun wine to enjoy for a mere $7.99! I give it THREE BOTTLES and have gone back for second purchases on this Zin already. The next time you have one of those hard days and you feel like you’ve actually gone to hell and back and then some……remember this wine, pick up some take out, grab a bottle of Pacific Edge “Hell & Back”, pour a glass and take yourself back to your “Zin State of Mind”!