Puppies! Ok, now that I have your attention…

What’s your Ammunition? Mine: Sparky

About the Label: Bill Kerr, Creative Designer for Ammunition, is the proud father of two fur-baby Dachshunds (which translates from German to English as “Badger Hound”). “I’ve been enamored with the breed since I was a kid,” says Kerr, “I have never been able to see one and not laugh and smile.” He noticed that taking his pups out for a walk inevitably always leads to conversations with complete strangers about what characters these little dogs are. “These quirky little guys have a cult following,” he adds.

When creating the Ammunition portfolio, winemaker Andy Whal and Kerr both wanted to “push the limits of Zinfandel,” creating something uniquely big and bold, but absolutely balanced. They did just that, and needed a label to match. “We wanted to create a little label with BIG CHARACTER,” says Kerr, “and I honestly couldn’t come up with a better personification for a wine like this than my buddy Alfie: completely approachable, but with a tough mentality.”

The artwork itself was created by Jeremy Fish, a San Francisco-based artist whose become somewhat of a pop-up legend due to his subtle, yet obscure artwork — artwork that often features Dachshunds as characters. The illustration is based on the Godfather saga, a scene in which Michael Corleone is posted along an Italian countryside holding a bottle of wine in one hand and a walking stick in the other. To Kerr, this was the perfect pose for his Badger Hound: “Fish used this as the basis for the Badgerhound, right down to the clothes he is wearing,” says Kerr.
Note the dog guarding the barrel of wine and the badger head at the top of the walking stick — to me the humor of it parallels the unique take on the Zinfandel inside and showcases the fun-loving attitude of the Ammunition team.

About the Wine: The Ammunition Wine 2015 Badgerhound Zinfandel is made from 100% Zinfandel grapes harvested at the highest brix possible from the Dry Creek Valley AVA in Sonoma County.

When asked about the winemaking details, winemaker Wahl admitted there was something special about the process but, “It’s a secret […] a secret passed on to me from an older winemaker and it resembled what the Italians did years ago.” According to Wahl, he’s had a number of old-school wine sale guys tell him the Badgerhound Zin is reminiscent of the Zinfandels from 20 to 30 years ago. “But it is a secret,” Wahl insists, “Maybe one day we will let the world know…”

The wine was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months.

15.9% ABV

Flavor Profile: The Ammunition Wine 2015 Badgerhound Zinfandel is sanguinely viscous on the pour, pooling into a luminescent, jewel-like maroon-shaded red. Initial aromas are of black figs, brown sugar, and sweet green herbs (like Thai basil and maybe mint), and a hint of black cherry. Swirl, and this Zinfandel opens up to some floral notes as well, reminiscent of roses so deep red, they’re almost black. Pull the nose slightly away from the glass and find a happier floral scent more akin to gardenias.

On the palate, the Ammunition Wine 2015 Badgerhound Zinfandel is full — as in even the tiniest sip seems to fill the mouth with its body. The initial reaction to the flavors will have you thinking sweet thoughts, but note, this wine is not actually sweet. Instead, this wine exudes the essence of those sweet notes — candied fig, black cherry jam, and those sweeter earthy herbs — without an actual sugary experience. Also, there’s the slightest amount of soft fizz that encircles the perimeter of the tongue — as if the soft bubbles of a cream soda. (Note: not the flavor of the cream soda, just the texture.) Together, the overall flavor is reminiscent of a pecan pie — the subtle tannins, only as textural as nut-skins — topped with black berry jam, and washed down with that fizzy cream soda. But not (at all) sweet.

Nor alcoholic. Despite the almost 16% ABV, there’s no residual heat, no excessive acidity, no over-warming of the palate, the throat, or the chest during the taste or finish. In fact, the finish is a simultaneously dry and juicy one, as the tannins finally do take affect, just on the exterior of the top of the tongue, and the fruit elements leave your breath sweet with fruit flavors.

You’ll be taking another sip — just to figure this wine out.

Food Pairing: Barbecue anything. Seriously. Think ribs slathered in a sweet-spicy BBQ sauce; think burgers topped with caramelized onions; think cedar plank salmon swimming in a bourbon glaze. The richness of the wine deserves the richness of a sauce; the heartiness of a solid but somewhat oily or fatty protein; and the casual, outdoor, grilling-on-the-patio atmosphere that all those things bring to mind.

More Info: Read the story behind Ammunition and tell us — what’s your Ammunition? Tell us and enter to win an Ammunition Huntsman Tier level Wine Club Membership for one year.

I received the Ammunition Wine 2015 Badgerhound Zinfandel as a sample for review. (Cheers David!) Price: $23. For more information about Ammunition Wine and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Ammunition Wine website.

BriscoeBites officially accepts samples as well as conducts on-site and online interviews. Want to have your wine, winery or tasting room featured? Please visit the Sample Policy page where you can contact me directly. Cheers!

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