The aromas are very ripe and full, packed with sweet oak, blackberry jam, cassis, smoke and pepper. Not as concentrated as the enormous 1997, but round and harmonious and dry, with a spicy, long, peacock’s tail of a finish.
Intriguing in the nose, with hints of blackberry, wintergreen, cedar and cinnamon. Silky smooth tannins support a solid core of black cherry, plum cassis, vanilla and herb flavors,. Juicy but sophisticated. A lovely example of what this variety can do.
This is the Zin to show those European visitors who don’t understand the varietal. It has the lush texture and depth of a fine wine, with sumptuous tannins, but with that roguish quality that characterizes California’s own grape. If a serious wine can be fun and not take itself too seriously, this it it.
From 50-year-old vines in an appellation that deserves its reputation as Zin country. The wine has the weight, body and concentration of good Cabernet Sauvignon with a plush mouthfeel and overlay of fine oak. But there’s no mistaking the variety: brambly fruit, pepper and jam, and spices aplenty cry “Zinfandel” all the way.
Deep, stewy red-berry and brown sugar notes get a little heat (and a little currant) on the nose; in the mouth, it’s got similar red-berry and toasty notes, and a creamy, velvety texture. Wants a little more acid to balance the vanillin fullness, but it’s sexy nonetheless. Has the same extracted-fruit quality as Hanna’s other Bismark Ranch offerings, with a percent…
Impressively plummy and chocolatey, the Merlot in this reads strongly, though it’s actually 2 percent less than in the 1991. The wine is full and still firm, with copious aromas and flavors of cedar and menthol, raisins and cocoa. Closes fairly long with dark tart-sweet fruit and nice, still slightly tight tannins. This will keep. Drink now through 2008; best after 2004.
Leaner in profile and not quite as deep as the 1992, but nicely structured and attractive. This has a slightly more Bordeaux-like feel and balance and displays a cherry, earth, tobacco and herb bouquet. Blueberry, plum and espresso show on the even, smooth palate. It closes long with soft, ripe tannins and the herb notes atop the dark fruit. Drink now–2005.
Polished green apple and peach flavors are joined with oriental spices to provide a rich, tasty drink. Oak adds vanilla, smoke and toast. Very dry, with biting acidity. Earns extra points for complexity and great structure. —S.H.