I went over to the Italian Affair restaurant here in Santa Rosa a couple of days ago for a cold-night comfort dinner and ended up ordering "veal" Parmigiana. The "veal" was, charitably, baby beef run through the tenderizing machine which is used, I think, for compacting road bases during the daytime.
It was well-prepared in an old-fashioned way, which I happen to like.
They didn't have anything decent by the glass, but I spied "Battaglini Zinfandel" on their rather eclectic wine list, so I ordered it. There was a kid named Battaglini at Santa Clara University when was there, a bit before 1960. The name rang a bell. I suspect his name was Dennis, but I'm not sure.
The wine made the meal.
Mature Sonoma Zin - not as black-fruit as DCV, and not overripe. Tannins just about gone. Just starting to dry a bit. Totally inky Zin color, no fading at the edge at all. Nice aroma with sort of mustard greens, and blackberries and dusty road. I finished it off tonight with spaghetti and my own meat and mushroom sauce. A total steal at the price. A good 2010 RRV Zin, good enough to keep for a decade, would cost around $60 most places.
The label says "Battaglini 2001 Zinfandel Twin Pines Vineyards Russian River Valley" and other stuff in small print. Unfined, "Old Vines", "Estate bottled", 15.2% alcohol.
The back label says "Grown, Produced and Bottled" which makes the "Estate bottled" meaningful. It also says 1050 cases produced. $35 at the restaurant.
They're out on Piner Road, about 2/3 of the way to Joseph Swan if I go that way. I have to give them a call.
"My own" meat and mushroom sauce is one I adapted from my mother's sauce, which she adapted from her mother-in-law Addie May Smith Treder's recipe, and I think Gramme (Addie) got the recipe from either her sister Edith, who was the cook at a house in Pacific Heights in San Francisco, or her sister Babe (Elizabeth, who was the youngest of the 11 girls and 3 boys), who knew a whole bunch of Italian grape farmers.