87+ 2003 Ridge Essence Zinfandel (Stone Ranch–Alex. Valley) 12/26/06 ($30) 375mL
100% Zin 14.1% alc 10% residual sugar
Color: Medium deep garnet. (3.0) Bouquet: Spice and sweet concentrated berry fruit, but this is somewhat marred by alcohol and medicinal nuances at present. (2.5) Body: A light heavyweight with concentrated acidity-driven fruit, but could use more supporting structure. (3.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet, but with overbearing herbal and oak flavors covering fruit. (2.0) Finish: Parallels flavor, but the fruit peaks out more over the course of the lingering finish. (3.0)
Overall: Enjoyable, although not overly attractive at present, but has the concentrated fruit to improve, if the alcohol and oak integrate. Give it 4-5 years. It is quite sweet. Rosenblum’s Rosie Rabbit from this vintage is better for $10 less.