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39th Annual Zinfandel Retrospective - the 2012s

R&D's

Tasted May 20, 2017 by AllRed with 306 views

Introduction

A few years ago the tasting was scaled down from a ten year to a five year retrospective. This was due to the sheer quantity of Zinfandel that must be purchased in order to have a viable eight bottle horizontal at the ten year mark. That said, there are always a couple of ten year olds opened to transition from the whites to the blind flight of eight five year olds. Domino and I are always happy to be invited to this event.

Flight 1 - Nonblind warm ups (7 notes)

White
2014 Landmark Chardonnay Overlook USA, California, Sonoma County
89 points
Aromas of banana and coconut, apple and florals. Medium-bodied with flavors of apple and pear liqueur,stone and toasted coconut. This has a nice level of toasted oak for the fruit and body- I like it. 89-90 pts.
Rosé
2016 Caves d'Esclans Whispering Angel France, Provence, Côtes de Provence
88 points
Pale color with notes of melon and florals. Good fruit with nice acidity. Balanced; good patio sipper.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé
2015 Bodegas Muga Rioja Rosado Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
87 points
Opens with a dominant funky note with rose petal and berry underneath. Florally red fruit and strawberry flavors with bright acidity. The funky quality never blows off and I find it a bit distracting. Pass on this in favor of the 2016 vintage, which was delightful.
Rosé
2016 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
88 points
Deeper color than the other roses. Berry and melon fruit with floral overtones. Nice acidity on the palate, with flavors of melon and macerated red berry. Finishes with just a hint of spice. Very good. 88-89 pts.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Veuve Fourny & Fils Champagne Premier Cru Grande Réserve Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
89 points
L12211, disgorged May 2015, courtesy of J&P. Appley fruit dominates the bouquet, with hints of almond and stone. Medium bead with flavors of crab apple and yeast.
Red
2007 Sineann Old Vine Zinfandel USA, Oregon, Columbia Valley
84 points
Shows a bit of bricking. At first this is a bit stewy/tomatoey, with red fruit underneath. Flavors of red fruit, raisin, peppery spices and meaty/pepperoni-like qualities. Kind of odd, a bit stewy. Not something I need more than a small taste of. Well past peak at this point, assuming this is a representative bottle.
Red
2007 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Rockpile USA, California, Sonoma County, Rockpile
91 points
Unlike the Sineann, this has held up very well. Very slight bricking. Note so raspberry, pepper and red plum. Black raspberry and white pepper on the palate. Briary, brambly fruit lingers on the finish. Wonderful.

Flight 2 - 2012 Zinfandel Retrospective (8 notes)

Tasted blind - we know these are Zins, yes, but not the producers/bottlings so it is not a true single blind format, nor is it double since we know the variety and vintage. We had 12 tasters but only 11 who scored. What surprised me most about this flight was the raspberry fruit notes that were consistent across the flight, and many of the others commented on this as well. Very little in terms of raisiny/pruny overly ripe fruit. These were very enjoyable, and constantly evolved over the course of the tasting, which made ranking them very difficult.

Red
2012 Ridge Zinfandel Paso Robles USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
91 points
Blind. Aromas of red and black raspberry along with hints of blue fruit and pepper. Good body with sweet tannin and flavors of raspberry and red berry jam. Develops just the faintest hint of raisined fruit as it sits, but there are also floral notes that appear. Excellent. 91+ pts.

My #2, Domino's #7
Group #4, 48 pts
Red
2012 Brown Estate Zinfandel USA, California, Napa Valley
89 points
Black cherry notes with a touch of pepper and also some funk. Nice raspberry fruit on the palate with pepper and spice accents. Shuts down in the glass though, almost to the point where there is no discernible bouquet. Spice and dark raspberry remain on the palate. I like the fruit, but would not have expected it to shut down like that. Strange.

My #7, Domino's #6
Group #3, 40 pts
Red
2012 Prisoner Wine Company Saldo USA, California
88 points
Initially a bit muddled. Generic notes of red and dark fruit. Chewy tannins; decent amount of briary fruit on the palate. Spice with red and black fruit emerge after a while but I sense this only showed a portion of itself. I was obviously in the minority here.

My #8, Domino's #2
Group #2, 39 pts
Red
2012 Outpost Zinfandel Howell Mountain USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
89 points
Aromas of blue fruit and pepper with a hint of raisin too. Dark raspberry and briary fruit on the palate with a peppery finish. Aromas become more red-fruited, as does the palate. Somewhat tannic; spice & raspberry finish. 89-90.

My #6, Domino's #4
Group #5, 49 pts
Red
2012 Ridge Lytton Springs USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
90 points
Aromas of dust, raspberry and black fruit. Perhaps also just a touch of VA present. Soft tannins; dark berry fruit and pepper. Balanced; nice- good fruit.

My #5, Domino's #8
Group #8, 72 pts
Red
2012 Robert Biale Zinfandel Black Chicken USA, California, Napa Valley, Oak Knoll District
91 points
At first this is a bit herbal, maybe even "weedy." Red fruit, pepper and stemmy flavors. Opens up nicely though, showing pepper red fruit and raspberry qualities. Finishes with good length and plenty of briary red fruit.

My #4, Domino's #5
Group #6, 54 pts
Red
2012 Seghesio Family Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel USA, California, Sonoma County
92 points
Reticent at first; muddled red fruit notes. Flavors of cherry, raspberry and spice. Becomes perfumed and flroal, with red fruit, raspberry and spice underneath. Good tannins and flavors of raspberry and pepper. Briary through the finish. Balanced. Long finish. At times almost "juicy."

My #3, Domino's #3
Group #7, 57 pts
Red
2012 Ridge Geyserville USA, California, Sonoma County
91 points
Pepper, raspberry and herb notes. Somewhat tannic on the palate, with flavors of red and dark fruit. Opens nicely, with the fruit really coming forward with more air ad the tannins soften. Grapey raspberry fruit and fruit on the nose and palate. Balanced; long finish. 91-92 pts.

My #1, Domino's #1
Group #1, 37 pts
5 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 3 - Dinner/dessert (7 notes)

Nonblind, with beef brisket, slaw and pasta salad.

Red
2005 Novy Family Wines Syrah Page Nord USA, California, Napa Valley
88 points
Popped and poured with dinner following the tasting. Actually similar to the zins with notes of raspberry, cherry and pepper. Flavors of sour raspberry and spice, becoming less sour as it sits.
Red
2007 Turley Zinfandel Moore "Earthquake" Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
Earthy red fruit notes have a slight sour quality. Notes of spice and pepper in the background. Red plum and dark berry fruit with a peppery finish. I like this, and it paired very nicely with the sauce on the brisket.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Culler Syrah USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
Popped & poured. Pepper and dark fruit notes. The palate follows the bouquet. Softened tannins with a nice finish. Drinking well.
Red
2012 Chateau Montelena Zinfandel The Montelena Estate USA, California, Napa Valley, Calistoga
91 points
Popped and poured with dinner, and well-received by the table. Red berry fruit, spice and floral aromas. The palate mirrors the bouquet. Finishes with good length.
Red
N.V. Sans Liege The Transcendentalist 11/12/13 USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
91 points
Purple and blue fruit with spice, pepper and herb overtones. Medium-bodied with med. tannins and flavors of red plum, raspberry and spice. 91+ pts.
Red
2009 Boudreaux Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon USA, Washington
89 points
Black and red fruit notes with a nice herbal edge. Nice tannin structure with red fruit flavors dominant. Has a cherry note in the finish. 89+ pts.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2003 Château d'Arche Sauternes France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
87 points
Notes of pineapple and apricot with a tinny, metallic note. Apricot and peach with a short finish.
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