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Los Carneros, Napa Valley
This 2010 episode of Commander Zinskey finds him renewed, buff and ready for action. The long cool summer contributed to a full flavor profile for complex character development while the heat spike near the end of the growing season has him finish with a whaamm! A commanding presence of blackberry, bramble and spice, cloaked in a rich, yet zippy mouthfeel welcomes many exotic culinary sidekicks.
The 2010 Commander Zinskey is Sold Out!
Commander Zinskey Issue #6
The Rise of Terroir Man!
Sweat launched from the Commander’s brow like rain hurdling off a gutterless roof. The Commander had crossed four hundred light years to investigate an ancient distress beacon launched a millennia ago from a dying planet. A desperate population must have cast it into the ether, like an electronic Hail Mary pass, with hopes that a more technologically advanced people could save them from their date with destiny. Now, the Commander finds himself alone, trudging across a desolate landscape under a relentless, red giant sun.
The Commander’s mission - to preserve life in any and all forms - provides motivation but so far, the only evidence that life once thrived on this planet lies in the fossilized sedimentary layers of the rock cliffs before him... a fact that dashes hope as he realizes that this now barren planet, once vibrant and lush with water, suffered a catastrophic evaporation event, taking precious life forces with it.
As the Commander navigates the cliffs, he stumbles upon a shocking site... a solid rock formation organized like a city with “avenues” and “buildings” carved from the red volcanic rock; yet, unlike any city he has known, it is eerily quiet.
He smacks the button on the side of his helmet to release his Goopple* life-seeking goggles. [*almost two hundred years ago, Google and Apple’s “scorched earth, fight to the death” grudge match nearly destroyed the earth when a miracle occurred... the reincarnated Saint Jobs demanded that the two companies form an alliance, more powerful than any government, with a vow to only serve the public good from then on.] This special apparatus, created exclusively for the Commander, collects maps from the solar cloud and superimposes them onto the Commander’s retina as turn by turn directions transmit into his tympanic nerve, while life-detecting heat scanners feed data to his frontal cortex.
With almost all hope lost of finding life, the Commander decides to return to his Space X craft when, out of the corner of his eye, he sees movement. Could his eyes be playing tricks on him? His Goopple goggles have never failed before but clearly no heat signature registered on the device. The Commander quickly runs diagnostics only to be startled as a green “OK” flashes in front of his eyes. Exasperated, he flips up the goggles, entrusting his fate to his own two eyes.
He advances toward a building resembling a repository or a library. It is filled with shelves of ancient books and stacks of boxes, piled floor to ceiling. Dusting off a box, the Commander peeks inside to find seeds neatly organized by type. In another box are illustrations of animals with DNA slides attached. It seems that the Commander’s mission to find life, has morphed from rescue to a DNA salvage job.
Depressed, the Commander leans against the wall and takes a long, hard swig from his Zinskey flask... when... IT MOVES! The Commander leaps as the solid rock wall shudders. Is his mind playing tricks on him? Is this year’s formulation of his Zinskey beverage too potent? He reaches out to assure himself that the wall is indeed solid when it comes to life before his eyes!
Startled, the Commander draws his neutron stun gun as the creature extricates itself from the rock wall. “It” is built like a man - a head, a torso with leg and arm-like appendages - but it is clearly made of mineral... Could it be... a man, born of this place and evolved from rock? Could it be the dawn of a new life form? A Terroir Man!
To be continued... stay tuned for next season’s continuing adventures of Commander Zinskey!
A Date with the Commander
A search for the Commander’s perfect date led me to luscious Medjools. The Commander is righteous but not very sweet, so I imagined that the deep berry and spice of the 2010 Zinskey might be able to stand up to a hint of sweetness, thereby softening the tough guy’s aggressive character. Spice, cheese and smoky bacon meet the Commander head on without taking any guff off the big, lovable galumph.
Enjoy double dating! Start with the Commander on Horseback for a rich pre-dinner warm-up then retreat to your lair for a hedonistic Moroccan feast.
Until the Next Wine....
A cool, wet winter presaged the vintage of 2010 as spring came late with a delayed bloom. The summer growing season stayed cool with many foggy mornings that contributed to delightful flavor development. The heat came late in August in the form of a spike, but the cool weather returned after a few days, prolonging the growing season into November before finishing with a late Indian summer. The long hang-time contributed to flavor development with an unrivaled intensity in the RSV universe.