SAWIRA nails a lot of my impressions. This is occasionally clumsy, but has many more moments of brilliance than not. Tons of fruit left, much more than its other flavors, but there is some complexity there. The structure is fully mature and will start fading in a year or two, but there is a good balance, but definitely one for those who like the ripe side of their zins. This has aged very well, and I think Officer's window of 2004 to 2010 is a bit short. This probably has another year or two before itll lose much and gain little. Delicious stuff.
I've saved this bottle since release to test my palate's preference for Mike Officer's Zins. Color retains plenty of purple with the red, not as much of a purple monster as on release, but no bricking, amber or browning and only the tiniest hints of lightening salmon at the rim. Nose muted at first and then unfolding to show ripe and amost (but not quite) jammy red and black berries, with some vanilla in the background. On the palate this explodes at first with huge brambly zin fruitedness, then gets a bit cough syrupy at the 15 minute mark. I was worried the test was over, but no. Within another 10 minutes a tamed beast appeared - smoky, earthy, mineral imbued balance appears for the sweet, full-bodied fruit. There's even a sour component adding texture. The last glass at the 90 minute mark was the best. This is superb and the test confirms what I suspected - I like Mike's wines with some age. Another lesson is how wines like this at the tail end of their curve demand respect and attention. There were many moments this was clumsy, yet even more where it was exhibiting the last gasps of peak aliveness before senescence, but which could have easily been missed in a crowded room. Mike's window is 2004-2010, last tasted in September 09. I'd say drink up, and savor the moments this is showing brilliantly. A very worthwhile experiment.
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