Coravin Session #3 - Grenache vs Zinfandel

Tasted March 7, 2020 by CBRwineguy with 13 views

Introduction

Thinking back to the blind tasting session a few weeks ago, I wanted to contemplate the differences between these two varieties. I probably don't have the typical expressions of these varieties, but it'll be an interesting exercise...

Flight 1 - Grenache (2 notes)

Red
2017 Ochota Barrels Grenache The Fugazi Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
[From Coravin]

The appearance is clear and medium ruby in colour.

The nose is clean. The aromas have a medium(+) intensity and show well-defined notes of black fruit (blueberry), red fruit (raspberry, very ripe wild strawberry), oak (subtle cardamom), floral characters (lavender), and pungent spice (white pepper). Swirling reveals additional notes of stems and oak (subtle chocolate). The wine is youthful.

On the palate, the wine is dry with high acidity, medium alcohol, and medium(-) body. The medium(-) level tannins are ripe and soft. The flavours have a medium(+) intensity and show notes of black fruit (blueberry), oak (chocolate), red fruit (raspberry, wild strawberry), and a floral character (lavender). The finish has a medium(+) length and shows additional notes of mineral (damp earth, wet clay) and pungent spice (subtle white pepper).

This is a very good quality wine. The flavours have a great balance with the acidity and the alcohol. The tannins provide some structure to the wine, but fall away quickly, with the acidity keeping this wine to the lighter side of medium body. The flavours show great concentration (a wine of higher quality would show more concentration and a longer length). In its current state, the wine shows some complexity with primary and secondary characteristics (a wine of higher quality would show more complexity). The primary fruit core is enjoyable and is supported by savoury notes. The secondary components (oak) are well-integrated; not awkwardly poking out. The finish has a great length that allows the flavours to linger in a very interesting and enjoyable manner.

The wine drinks well now, but is suitable for some ageing. The fruit shows great concentration, and the acid structure should support the wine for medium-term cellaring.
Red
2013 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
[From Coravin]

The appearance is clear and medium garnet in colour. Tears are visible.

The nose is clean. The medium(+) intensity aromas show notes of black fruit (stewed black cherry, bramble, cooked blackcurrant, blackberry), bottle-age (subtle worn leather), floral (lavender), and a herbal character (fennel). Swirling reveals additional notes of oak (vanilla, cloves), pungent spice (white pepper, subtle black pepper), and red fruit (raspberry). The wine is developing.

On the palate, the wine is dry with medium(+) acidity, high alcohol, and medium(+) body. The medium level tannins are ripe and suede in nature. The flavours have a medium intensity and show notes of black fruit (sour black cherry, black plum, bramble), pungent spice (black pepper, subtle green peppercorn), mineral (dry dusty earth), and malolactic conversion (creamy texture). The finish has a medium(+) length and features additional notes of floral (violets) and pungent spice (white pepper).

This is a very good quality wine. The flavours have a great balance with the acidity and the alcohol. The tannins provide some structure to the wine, but give way to the acidity. The flavours show good concentration (a wine of higher quality would show more concentration and a longer length). In its current state, the wine shows complexity with primary, secondary, and some tertiary characteristics (a wine of higher quality would show more complexity). The primary fruit core appeared to me as being more on the black fruit spectrum, with a very prominent line of black pepper. The oak appeared to be well-integrated; allowing the fruit to take centre-stage. The finish has a good length and showed additional flavours that lingered on the palate in an enjoyable manner.

The wine drinks well now, but is suitable for ageing. The fruit shows good concentration, and the tannin and acid structure should support the wine as the tertiary notes continue to develop.

Flight 2 - Zindandel (1 note)

Red
2013 Wente Vineyards Zinfandel Beyer Ranch USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Livermore Valley
[From Coravin]

The appearance is clear and medium garnet in colour. Tears are visible.

The nose is clean. The aromas have a light intensity, only showing generic black fruits and generic oak. Swirling reveals more distinct notes of black fruit (cooked black plum, bramble), oak (vanilla, butterscotch), and mineral (crushed rocks). The wine is developing.

On the palate, the wine is dry with high acidity, high alcohol, and full body. The medium(+) tannins are velvety in nature. The flavours have a medium intensity and show notes of black fruit (blackberry jam), oak (vanilla, butterscotch), dried fruit (raisins), and mineral (crushed rocks). The finish has a long length featuring additional notes of red fruit (strawberry, raspberry).

This is a good quality wine. The flavours have a great balance with the acidity and a good balance with the alcohol. Alcohol warmth shows on the back palate (a wine of higher quality would better mask the alcohol). The velvety tannins have a good balance with the acidity. The flavours show a good level of concentration (a wine of higher quality would show more concentration and a longer length). In its current state, the wine shows primary and secondary characteristics (a wine of higher quality would show more complexity). The primary fruit core is predominately black fruit, but red fruits do show on the finish. The oak treatment is quite strong, particularly the butterscotch character. The finish has a great length that was quite enjoyable.

The wine drinks well now, but is suitable for ageing. The fruit shows good concentration, and the tannin and acid structure should support the wine as tertiary notes develop.

Closing

The CdP had a stronger impression of Syrah than I was expecting, making the flight a bit of a fail (whoops). The butterscotch note on the Zin was also probably a bit ott in terms of the flight. But was still quite interesting.

© 2003-20 CellarTracker! LLC.

Report a Problem

Close