Here’s a big, rich, full-bodied Zin that calls for equally big foods, like tri-tip, barbecued ribs and Szechuan-style beef. Although it’s extremely dry, it’s fruity, with flavors of blackberries, mulberries and plums, accented with spices, sassafras and grilled meat.
The downside of this wine is its enormous alcohol, nearly 16 percent. That’s the price you pay for a dry wine with gargantuan flavors. Black currants, cherry pie, tobacco, pepper, bitter chocolate and dill only begin to describe the palate. Yet the wine is balanced and even elegant. Truly an only-in-California experience.
Big, raw and frankly not really showing its best now, this young Zin needs time in the bottle. It has everything that it takes for two or three years aging, at least. Aromas and flavors of crushed pepper, fennel seed and cardamom spice up the blackberry, roasted coffee and bitter chocolate flavors, while the tannins are hefty, but negotiable.
While this Zin is clinically dry, it’s so explosive in cherry, rhubarb, pomegranate and cola flavors that it’s almost sweet, like pie filling. The acids and tannins rush in at the last minute, balancing it with a dusty dryness. It’s a classically ripe coastal Zin, and savvy sommeliers will have fun figuring out what to pair it with.
This unusual and distinctive Zin has a silky texture and rich, finely ground tannins. The flavors range from classic black and red currants, mulberries, cloves and pepper to pastry flavors of coconut macaroon and fig cookie. Could easily develop over a decade.