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….
Continuing with our Reno weekend collection of wines, this Lodi Zin was a real treat. However, I was starting to suffer ‘palate fatigue’ not to mention a slight buzz so my notes got shorter and less detailed. The essence of this wine is as follows-
Purple plums and black currant mid
Good acidity and a mild tannic hint
That’s what it comes to at 2 am after a gut full of vino and good times. I found it online for $22 and was surprised to see that it only got 84 points from WE yet my peers at cellartracker gave it 90. Strange variation but I’m going with 3 stars for my 89 points and it’s 22 price. Sorry for the brevity! Salut….
My friend ‘The Beave’ was hosting the Reno Air Race party this year and invited me to raid his cellar, which I took literally. Out popped this beauty that was the highlight of the evening. Beautifully aged Sierra Foothills Zinfandel that offered silky purple plums with beautiful acidity and restrained tannins. Bottle aging has smoothed this wine out like a well worn pebble. A sweet cherry finish was the capstone of this atypical Cali Zin that strayed from the high octane, jammy wines that Zin has a tendency to become. No idea on pricing but this is a 91+ point wine that I would give 4 stars to if it was sub $30. Salut….
I am becoming a fan of Armida’s wines. I wrote about their other offerings previously with the Poizin and my first experience with the Maple Creek Zin 2009. The style is not overly jammy, nor heavy but relies on old vines for complexity and depth. On pouring this rather young wine I noted that it was dark purple in hue with hints of cloves intertwined with plums on the nose. Easy drinking yet powerful with a lithe tannic backbone and entrenched acidity. The 14.9 % alcohol was well hidden but could sneak up on the unsuspecting. As the wine evolved we got a dark core of black fruits with plums on the secondary and lithe hints of chocolate and bramble bush. A nice depth of different nuances made this a very good wine indeed. I believe it can be found for about $35 and I’m going with 91 points, making this a solid 3 star effort in my book. We drank it before a dinner of fresh caught Salmon, but I would go with any red meats, perhaps some olives and tapenade would suffice. Salut….
I’m back in Asia, re-united with my partner in crime- The Beave. He brought this highly rated Sonoma Zin from home for us to share. Black cherry and tar with some Asian plums and a hint of oak. Extremely smooth with gentle tannins that caress the mouth yet manage to hide the whopping 14.8% alcohol. A long finish and good acidic structure make this a really good wine that could be cellared for a few years, but why wait? I think he laid out about $20 for this 90 pointer and I am going with 3 stars. Salut….
I have had this wine before, but never posted about it. The nice lady hocking the wares at my local grocery store was not sure of the blend (damned temp agency people) but as she was looking it up I smelled the Zin in the sample she had poured. Turns out Zin, Merlot, Cabernet and Petit Sirah make up this steal of a $9 bottle.
Very dark in the glass thanks to the heavies, it has a very fruit forward style, albeit not very complex. Very straightforward aromas and flavors of candied strawberry and Maraschino cherries. It finishes with some mocha and very little dryness. This is a pop-n-pour wine as it has little tannic backbone and the acidity is mild at best. It will serve you well at a large party and the lack of tannins make it an easy wine to quaff. 85 points and 3 stars for me. I classify this as a cheap and cheerful wine that is widespread. Salut….