The second wine of our virtual tasting was this Lodi blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Cab Sav. The nose was magnificent- lush, jammy blackberry, cocoa, dark plums. The palate was a different matter. We all immediately sensed a certain sweetness that we were not expecting. The wine is very fruity and concentrated with loads of black fruits. Tannins are apparent but not overbearing and there is a decent level of acidity to make for a nice mouthfeel. The cloying fruit however was a detractor for many in the group. Funnily enough, it was voted the best wine by a third of the attendees. I guess that sweetness appeals to some but not all. Each to his own. For me it was an 86 point wine that I feel was a little too manufactured and lacked finesse relying heavily on gobs of jammy fruit. Drink now. For $14 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
This is the 5th wine in the SplashWines lineup. A blend from Amador County, which has been showing some real quality of late. This one is a nice purple hue in the glass and is semi-opaque. On the nose I get pepper, plum, mocha and blackberries. The initial palate is interesting, a touch sweet from cassis and spice. It has some zest to it, I like that. The mid palate has some tar, more dark fruits and a charcoal note. Very lithe tannins appear and there is a nice acidity to the wine. The tar and spice components carry through to the finish, but there is an astringency that hits me, some greenness. It’s not all bad, as the sweet cassis nullifies it. The finish is quite tart, with good length. Overall this is a decent bottle that gets 89 points from me. Drink with summer BBQ, perhaps pizza and definitely a red pasta. For $15 it’s a 3 star Zinfandel blend that includes some Petite Sirah and Syrah. Drink now. Salut….
I was looking for a spicy wine for tonights dinner- Chicken and Rice, Middle Eastern style. This Zin was up next on the tasting rack. In the glass it is a semi opaque purple with globby legs. The nose presents rich purple fruit. Plums, licorice, black cherry and a noticeable dose of sassafras. The palate is what I had hoped for. Luscious ripe fruit- blackberries, plums, that sassafras note and some nice, charred oak. The wine has a nice acidity, not piercing but just enough to liven things up. Tannins become evident on the back end and the wine finishes with a nice dry note, akin to leather. Blackcurrant jam and spice box round out the finish that lasts a good 30 seconds. Tasty wine with some cellaring potential. Drink till 2027. 90 points and 5 stars for this $17 effort. Salut….
Semi opaque and medium intensity purple. The nose has spicy blueberry jam, candy and licorice. On the palate it is very fruity, dry and mouthwatering. Blackberry paste, cedar shake and iodine caress the tongue while really nice tannins completely coat my gums. It is a luscious mouthfeel if you’re in the mood for some tannic grip. The midpalate and finish carry on the theme and it ends on a nice dry note of black jam, cinnamon, some wood influence and that licorice note. 90 points. Well made and for $12 this is a steal worthy of 5 stars. Drink till 2027 with some sirloins, perhaps venison and definitely roasted veggies. Salut….
Nice shades of purple with medium opacity. Zins tend to have higher alcohol and this one shows off its 15.5% very nicely on the legs. The nose is interesting- honey, blackberry preserves, cinnamon stick and black oak. On the palate it is very approachable right off the bat with blackberries, tea leaf and an intro to the very fine grained tannins. On the midpalate there is a stringy astringency that is putting me out of whack. The fruit subsided very quickly to make way for some bitter tannins unfortunately. Greeness prevails from that point to the finish. I’m trying to coax more of that delightful, jammy goodness but I’m being overpowered. This wine might need some cellaring but the green tannins will always be green unfortunately. 86 points from me and 3 stars for this $13 wine. Drink now. Salut….
I picked this bottle up on my trip to the Wine Library in New Jersey, they were pushing it as a good Thanksgiving choice. I had other plans for Turkey day but liked it enough to buy a bottle. In the glass it shows decent purple hues, but is somewhat lighter looking. On the nose- Christmas cake, cherries jubilee and spice box. On the palate, a really smooth intro of black fruits, dark cherries and cedar shingle. Very smooth indeed, with subtle tannins and a touch of acidity. This wine is very easy to drink due to the gorgeous mouthfeel but beware, it only hits 13% alcohol and you might find yourself sipping all night! As the wine hits the mid palate it shows off some typical Zin notes of plums and pepper. The finish is decent and mid length with some tannins showing up right at the end along with some plum torte. This wine does not need food, it flows ever so nicely but I can see why they recommended it to pair with Turkey. It would also go beautifully with a grilled Pork Chop, bone in. Given the choice I will pick old vine Zin every time, they are more refined, smoother and in my opinion easier to drink with lower alcohol. This wine is a great example. I am going with 91 points and 5 stars for a delicious effort that costs $13, what a bargain! I’m ordering more for sure. Salut….
A funny thing happened on the way home. I was on the return flight across the country, flying on United Airlines when I decided to try their other premium offering. I asked for the Pinot Noir and was given a Chardonnay. I returned it for something a little more red and ended up with a Zin. The wait was excruciating, I had already paid my $15.99 for a 375 ml and was now forced to endure the flight attendant’s attempts to open the bottle. It took a good 5 minutes longer than it should, for a good reason. See below….
The real story is the wine…which was served in a plastic cup again. The notes:
I get some “nothing” on the nose, the cup does this wine no justice. The initial taste is pleasing with black plum, some bramble and dark cherry cola. A spiciness hits the mid palate and I get some very integrated tannins on the finish. The wine is quite tasty and flows well with good mouthfeel. The 14.5% alcohol is well masked as is a touch of acidity. This wine is 4 years old and drinking at peak now. This is United’s other premium red wine offering and is worth the trade up from two smaller bottles of their regular $7.99 offerings. I’m finding Zins from Livermore are getting better and more refined. I’m glad I tried this one. 87 points and 3 stars. The average score across the web is 84-86 points and retails for $13, I guess I was enamored! It went great all by itself but would pair nicely with some Osso Bucco, perhaps a spicy sausage pasta or even some roasted chicken. Salut….
If you read my write up on the Lagarde Malbec you will know that we were at dinner with friends. The Malbec never made it to the table, this tasty Zinfandel was more than up to the task of handling our beef short rib dinner. I made some quick notes as Moxie was giving me the evil-eye for using my phone at the table.
Reddish purple with long legs in the glass. Nose of cinnamon, plums, orange peel and some vanilla. Initial tastes of plum and cinnamon with gently spiced cola. Tannins are subdued with a balance of acidity. 89 points and very food friendly. It sorted out the ribs with their strong flavors and offset the fat found in such a tender and delicious cut. The finish is mid length. This wine will pair well with any marbled meats and could stand up to a hearty BBQ with its spice component. A bargain at $15 this one may need to bought in bulk. 4 stars from me. Drink 2015-2018. Salut….
From Paso Robles comes this high powered Zin. It got panned by the pros but was the hit of the night at our gathering. It can be found for $30 and was immensely enjoyed with some Veal Saltimbocca and carpaccio salad. I find many Zins to be too jammy, this one was not.
Dried herbs, black currants and spice on the nose were a preview of what to expect. Spicy components mixed with dark plums and black cherry were the welcoming taste. The 15.2% alcohol was masked in the myriad of dark fruits, cinnamon notes and espresso. Delicious tannin structure coupled with some acidity gave it a nice mouthfeel. It went really well with our meal and I would cellar this for drinking 2015-2020. 90 points versus the pro’s at 86. 3 stars for me. Salut….
Wow, what an amazing bottle of wine. Courtesy of my west coast friends, we opened this beauty up and indulged in some of the finest Zinfandel I have tasted. From what I have experienced, California Zins are usually huge, bombastic and very high in alcohol. This one has certainly mellowed in the cellar and is unique.
See-through purple that was bright as day. Maraschino cherry nose with some violets, very interesting. Smooth, if slightly sharp entry of cherry and kirsch. Floral, light and refreshing with sleek, almost invisible tannins and a long finish. Hints of rhubarb on the mid palate were not expected from this delicious yet atypical wine. Needs cellar time to develop some earth and funk, but is drinking beautifully now. I am going with 93 points. The only place I saw it was at auction, be prepared to pay upwards of $50+. 4 stars and a treat to be able to taste such a wine. Salut….