A blast of spice, mint, bramble and pepper explodes from the glass. The wine is dense, dark, deep and mysterious; the flavors pungent, penetrating and persistent. Tannic, layered with herbs and spices, powered with big, punchy fruit. This is classic Cline.
There’s a lovely sweetness to the fruit, which tastes like ripe, just-picked blackberries. Old vines, 100+ years, deliver sweet, supple, sexy fruit. The wine has very dry tannins, and it might profit from some blending, but with a vineyard this special you have to admire the single-vineyard approach.
Doesn’t say so on the front label, but the fine print indicates the grape variety is Syrah, although you couldn’t guess that from the flavors. What it does taste like is lush, easy-drinking Port. Sweet and smooth, it has vast flavors of blackberry jam, cassis, cherries, raspberry pie, oranges, chocolate truffle, cloves and vanilla. So delicious, it makes you want…
From the Zinmaster Cline brothers comes a ripe, elegant beauty. Packed with raspberry, dark chocolate, tobacco, nutmeg, clove, and a kiss of vanilla-scented oak, it’s complex and lush. Very dry, very strong and very interesting.
Very rich chocolate, plum and allspice aromas, like a pudding. Classy. From low-yielding old vines, and it shows in the intensity and density. Deft winemaking keeps it from being ponderous. Really alive and fresh; try with braised lamb shank and wild mushrooms.
Rich and deep, with layers of fruit and spice complexity. Finishes long, unfolding all the while. There are some dusty tannins, but they’re fine-grained and easy to warm up to. From vines planted in 1878.
Mataro is another name for Mourvèdre. The wine tastes like a good Zinfandel, very dry, not too alcoholic, with savory, black pepper-infused flavors of wild black and blue berries, licorice, gingersnap cookie, and sweet leather. The feeling in the mouth is just fine, a smooth, full-bodied caress of sturdy tannins and brisk acidity.
Here’s a dry, very tannic young Zin, with exotic flavors of wild berries, pomegranates, plums, dark unsweetened chocolate, nutmeg, Chinese five-spice and tobacco, and the list could go on and on. Totally distinctive, it seems to capture a taste of its place. The vines are said to be 120 years old.