Back                                                                                                                                  January 3, 2010        

              Three Special Zinfandels

Here are three special, single vineyard Zinfandels from three distinctive sites that represent the best of what these three AVAs, known for Zinfandel, have to offer.

91   2005  Brochelle  Paso Robles  Zinfandel  $ 30
  15.6% alc
Candied cherries and berries in the nose with excellent acidity. A heavyweight with a silky mouthfeel and concentrated fruit. The flavor parallels the bouquet, but is richer and more delicious. The finish shows some tart acidity, but still excellent. With air, the fruit diminishes and begins to taste overripe as the chalky acidity sticks out more. I liked this better a year or two ago. Still excellent, but I feel that this wine is meant to be drunk within a year or so of its release. A very consistent Paso Robles Zinfandel that is all about ripe, concentrated fruit. (15.5)

92+   2006  Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley) $ 35
  15.6% alc
Color: Deep garnet. Deeper and darker than the Brochelle. (3.0) Bouquet: Herbal with mint, Zinberry fruit and excellent, smooth tannins. (3.0) Body: Heavyweight with excellent acidity, tannins and fruit. Well balanced. (3.5) Flavor: Parallels bouquet with elegant herbal/menthol nuances. (3.0) Finish: Parallels flavor, being big and long, but needs time to open fully. (3.0)
Overall: This is more well balanced, ageworthy and complex than the Brochelle. It has ripe fruit that makes it delicious even now, but has room to improve in the next few years. Not as big as the '07 version, but more complex and easier to drink now. (16.0)

94+   2007  Carlisle Papera Ranch Zinfandel (Russian River Valley) $ 45
  15.2% alc
Color: Dense purple garnet. Can't see through. (4.0) Bouquet: Roasted vegetables and herbs with a minerality reminiscent of a Piedmontese wine, supporting big, black raspberry fruit. (3.0) Body: Super heavyweight with very concentrated fruit and great structure and balance. (4.0) Flavor: Sweet/tart and delicious blackberry and black cherry with briary complexity. (3.5) Finish: Parallels flavor, but not totally formed yet. (3.0)
Overall: A massive, young thing with amazing concentration. So well balanced, it drinks great already, but its structure promises even greater things in the next 6-10 years. A little unformed at present, so decant for a couple of hours if drinking now. (17.5)


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