89 2007 The Flying Winemaker Ancient Vine Zinfandel (Lodi) 1/2/11 ($15)
14.5%alc (cellared and bottled by Cameron Hughes)
Color: Medium dark black cherry. (3.0) Bouquet: Very ripe, sweet blackberries and black cherries (not over-ripe) with some Zin spice. (3.0) Body: Silky mouthfeel with excellent concentrated fruit and balancing acidity. Light heavyweight with just a touch of heat. (3.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet with more briary spice. (3.0) Finish: Tasty old vines fruit lingers beautifully, just slightly marred by heat. (2.5)
Overall: A delicious old vines Zin in a classic, very ripe Lodi style, but balanced with a silky mouthfeel. Could have a little more structure, but I'm nitpicking. Outstanding for the price. (14.5)
Note: Had the recently released '09 version ($17) a few weeks later and found it to be very disappointing with grapy fruit, more heat and significant residual sugar, making it both harsh and somewhat icky. Came in at about 82 points, some true Zin fruit underneath the grapiness was its only saving grace. This contrast in vintages is a good example of how the '07 Zins more-or-less made themselves.
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