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  • By the glass at Bern's dessert room. My first experience with late harvest Zinfandel of any kind. Somewhat surprised about how mildly sweet it was, if you can consider it sweet at all. Perhaps what passed for a "dessert" wine for the maker at Ridge in 1978 is what we get now as a table wine in California (it did remind quite a lot of an American Cabernet), or time in the bottle resolved the sugar a little bit - I suspect with Ridge's understated house style it was probably mostly the former. Tobacco predominate, with a hint of citrus, perhaps a little flat and metallic - maybe a little oxidated having been left out a little too long. A tiny little bit of the dusty chocolate on the finish that made me think briefly of Banyuls, a wine I am immensely fond of. Overall, an interesting wine, but I don't think I'll be dying for another glass next time I am in the dessert room. One of the tawny ports by the glass (I especially love the 20 year Ferreira), or the 1980 Banyuls, or the 1980 Colheita, or the 1987 D'Oliveras Malmsey Madeira, or a glass of 1978 Sauternes are all better by the glass choices at Bern's.

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