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Zinfandel night at Fayetteville Wine Society - Printable Version

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- wondersofwine - 02-24-2009 03:10 PM

Zinfandel night at Fayetteville Wine Society last night. The lady next to me has taken wine classes and is quite knowledgeable about wines. She prefers Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon so did not expect to be impressed with a bunch of California Zins, but she was impressed and so was I.

2006 Beringer White Zinfandel--pale petal pink; strawberries on the nose; tastes very sweet; poured out after a few sips.
Included for the history of white Zin as an introduction to Zin for many Americans and for the importance of Sutter Home White Zinfandel in saving some old-vine Zinfandel vineyards from being uprooted.

2006 A-Mano Primitivo, Puglia One Italian Primitivo placed in the lineup for its family relationship to Zinfandel. Penetrating nose, almost a claret color, deep ruby, drying on back palate and finish, modern-style Primitivo. Consensus was that it needs to be accompanied by meaty dishes with sauce (such as Osso Buco) or perhaps pizza with a cheesey tomato sauce. (We didn't start the food until after the first four wines.)

2006 BraZin "B(Old) Vine" Zinfandel, Lodi
From California's Central Valley. This was served in a flight with the Runquist "Z" Zinfandel. It proved to be popular at my table and I did enjoy it but liked the "Z" better. Dark berries on the nose and palate. Very fruity, somewhat jammy. My first thought was raspberry but I might also peg it as mulberry flavor and that was the descriptor my neighbor to the right favored. She also was getting chocolate as her first impression but I didn't agree with the chocolate descriptor.
Vineyards range from 35-80 years old. This was a darker color than the "Z."

2006 Jeff Runquist "Z" Zinfandel, Amador County
Deep garnet color--not as dark as the BraZin before it. Some transparency. Although not labeled as "old vine" the grapes are from very old vines. Medium body; long finish. Suggested dark cherries to me and others at the table. Both the BraZin and the "Z" had some viscosity. I really liked this one. My favorite so far. (I have also enjoyed Jeff Runquist Petite Sirah.)

2006 Four Vines "Biker" Zinfandel, Paso Robles
Winemaker Christian Tietje aims to express terroir in his Zinfandels. I had had the "Maverick" from Amador County before and found one glass to be sufficient--it was a powerful wine that seemed "too much" in any kind of quantity (and is described on the website as a jam bomb blended with a touch of Syrah.) The Sophisticate from Sonoma County has a touch of Petite Sirah and is described as seductive and refined and stylish. Getting back to the Biker, it has a little Mourvedre in the blend. It was viscous , some acidity and tannin, peppery on the finish. I did not like it as well as my neighbor did.

2006 Hendry Zinfadel Blocks 7 and 22, Napa Valley
I've heard of the Block 7 for some years but had not yet tried it. This was denser than the "Biker" which was in the same flight. My impressions were of mixed berries, sort of a berry liqueur on the palate and slightly tart. I liked this but one of the organizers said it needs a little time to open up. Might be better with an hour or more of decanting or another year in bottle.

2006 Seghesio "Old Vine" Zinfandel, Sonoma County
The organizers wanted to bring the Seghesio Sonoma County Zin but couldn't get any. This was rather dense but not completely opaque. Some grapes from 90-year old vines. Mild and easy drinking, belying its 15.6% alcohol by volume. I liked it but prefered some of the others.

2005 Rosenblum "Annette's Reserve" Zinfandel, Mendocino County
Organizer said ripe fruit is a hallmark of Rosenblum style. In the past I have gravitated toward Harris Kratka and Rockpile Road wines from this producer. The Annette's Reserve was drinking well last night and was the favorite of some at my table. I liked it too but found it overpriced at about $40.

I ordered one bottle each of the Jeff Runquist "Z" and the Hendry Blocks 7 and 22. The Hendry was offered at about $33 and the "Z" in the 20s. I may go back later and order more but right now I have a number of Pinot Noirs being shipped plus an order of red and white Burgundies.