A complex, amazing wine that is one of the best Zins of the vintage. The perfume is extraordinarily detailed, suggesting black raspberry preserves, white chocolate, black pepper, tobacco, vanilla and smoke. All these flavors commingle in the mouth. Drinks dry, with dusty tannins. This is a brilliant wine, with a sensationally rich, vital finish. —S.H.
Somewhat earthy and quite complex, with an unusual array of citrus, hazelnut, butterscotch, toast, melon and mineral flavors. Full-bodied, it’s weighty yet clean and fresh at the end.
This joint effort from Alyssa Barlow and Fred Williams (son of Williams Selyem’s former winemaker-owner, Burt Williams) has some of the most impressive packaging that I’ve seen all year—though getting through the fancy wax seal takes some doing. Wide, sexy aromas of sweet cocoa and blackberry, plus a little baking flour, lead to anise, oak and more blackberry on…
Lean and angular, a wine whose fruity ripeness stops at citrus and apples. Yet the structure is interesting, with high acidity. Lees and oak add a touch of complexity. Finishes slightly bitter. —S.H.
Blackberry, black plum, black toasty oak—you get the idea, there’s a wealth of very dark notes here, but there’s also tart red cherry and currant fruit, plus interesting cigar-box elements. This juicy mid-weight closes dry, with good length, a slightly chalky feel and licorice-espresso flavors. Drink now–2007.
Smells superripe and overly extracted, with jammy, fruit-tart aromas underscored by earthy, herbal notes of tobacco and sage. It’s a big wine, and a little awkward, but it might knit together in the cellar. —S.H.
Cherry and tart berry fruit, menthol and woodsy-spicy accents appeal, but don’t harmonize as well as hoped for. Cola, cocoa and orange nuances also show, but the whole is somehow less than the sum of its admirable parts. Closes with mild tannins and sweet-and-sour notes that some tasters found a touch medicinal.