The wine is medium dark in the glass. The nose is perfumed with plum and blackberry aromas, with a hint of black pepper and campfire smoke. An undercurrent of lilacs sets off the more savory aspect. On the palate, there is amazing fruit - cherry, blackberry, cassis - along with some fairly awesome peppery notes. The mouthfeel is full, yet lean, with tannins firm enough to do a job but soft enough to stay out of the way when they are not working. I don’t get a color reference very often on the palate, but this wine tastes purple to me. The finish is medium at best, but full of the aforementioned fruit. — 12 days ago
Very restrained Zin. (Calmed by Age?). Aromas of wild berries, black cherry and cloves with a hint of dark chocolate. Raspberry and cherry fruit on the pallet with a bit of black pepper on the finish. Color has lightened with time but this wine was still quite vibrant. Nice! — 18 days ago
Ah Sobon Zin. The good stuff. This has some lovely cherry and berry aromas. With a bit of cut wood and nice smelling pipes. Flavor a a hint hot with a brandy/port streak, but that doesn’t detract from things because the fruit and zip is also there. Plenty to chew on and savor. This is jammy, classic foothills stuff. Full flavored and robust. Quite tasty too. — 8 days ago
This was our “back-up” bottle just in case the 1981 Clos du Val Zinfandel was DOA. In the end, the vitality of the ’81 rendered a back-up unnecessary however, we were resolved to open this nevertheless. The Old Hill Ranch is a historic vineyard endowed with a natural beauty that has few peers. Carefully farmed as a field blend with 30 other varieties, the vineyard is thought to be home to the oldest vines grafted to St. George rootstock (some of them are over 130 years old!!). The wine pours a bright ruby with no signs of sediment. On the nose, dark sour cherry, meat fat, brambles, and pie spice. On the palate, a mix of tart dark and red fruits, minerals, and a soft touch of baking spice. The finish is dry and long. Remarkable structure. Medium+ tannin, medium+ acid. This is a wine with tremendous vigor and it’s just getting started. While this is drinking very well already, I suspect these will have a very long life and should drink very well into the 2030’s and possibly, beyond. — 17 days ago
A continuation of some 1981’s that I’ve been opening to celebrate my 40th and this might be one of the biggest revelations yet. Over the last 20 years of my education, I’ve had the honor of being humbled countless times by wines, both good and not so good. However, every now and again, a wine comes along that challenges basic conventions and broadens my perspective. This was such a wine. Popped and poured; served alongside an assortment of grilled fare. The cork was about as healthy I’ve seen from a wine at 40 years. It came out mostly intact save for a small piece that was easy to remove but it served as a reminder that I ought to spend the money on a Durand. The color is deep garnet with some ever so slight browning at the edge of the rim. There is some fine sediment towards the bottom of the bottle but it’s otherwise quite clear. The nose was immediately engaging and full of interest. Predominate notes of old leather, dark cherry, mushrooms, black pepper, tobacco, and sweet baking spices. On the palate, the wine was rich, redolent. A mix of dark, mostly desiccated fruit, pipe tobacco, and baking spices. The real star however was the structure. Everything was still in its right place. Tannins were noticeable though clearly softened with age and very well integrated at this point. The acid provided all the necessary lift and a perfect zip to the finish. A wine of supreme balance. The four of us who shared this bottle looked at each other in wonder and amazement. A truly special wine that has years of life ahead. I have little doubt that it will still be handsome at 50. — 19 days ago
AFFORDABLE wines YOU ASK?
Here is THE FEDERALIST, zinfandel from dry creek valley. 2018. The boquet is raspberry and rubarb pie. The beginning starts with buttery smooth tart berry jam on toast and develops a ￼ Black licorice beginning. The mid palate delivers a punch of spice and pepper and that wonderful cedar impression. The finish is very smooth and again buttery and semidry. ￼ I will purchase this again at a low price of 20 bucks a bottle.￼ — 18 days ago