I was concerned that this 15 year old wine (13 years in my cellar, as I bought it from the winery) would be past its prime; however, that turned out not to be the case. Although the cork crumbled as I was removing it, and I had to pour the wine through a strainer (guess I should have decanted it), the wine was just fine. It has retained its plummy, jammy Zinfandel persona, and its age has smoothed the palette nicely. There was some wine left over the following night, and it was just as nice the second time. It was good to know that I can keep some wines longer than I would have expected. I'm not going to assign a numerical rating, because I don't recall what this wine was like when it was younger (this was the last of 6 bottles I had of this vintage), but generally I rate the Rafanelli Zins very highly - at least a 90.
For a 12 year old Zin, this bottle has held up very nicely. The cork had dried out and came out in several pieces, which immediately put me on guard. But the wine was intact and palatable, if a bit tight and past its prime. It retains a deep purple color and plenty of body. Amazing that the fruit is still very much there to be enjoyed.
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