Somehow, the Zinfandel seemed to enjoy both the moderate growing season, as well as the hot, dry spell right at harvest (usually not considered to be a good thing). What excites me about this vintage of Zinfandel is that it has both the generosity of a relatively ‘big’ Zinfandel, while maintaining enough restraint (from alcohol and ‘cooked’ jamminess) and core structure (acidity and ‘good’ tannins) to age well and compliment food. It shows red, black and blue fruit aromas, peppercorns, along with a mild earthiness, kind of like comfort food for the nose. While it is built for a longer haul, the tannins melt quite readily at this early stage with a bit of food.
In my opinion, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. On a recent sales trip, someone told me that our Zins were not ‘big’ enough for their clientele who are accustomed to something akin to dry Port. My offhand response was, “when you are ready to be seduced rather than raped, give us a call.” Of course, I had a Groucho Marx delivery in mind rather than Mae West. But either way, it works. (Groucho would have been talking about wine, but one of his brothers would have probably been talking to Mae.)