I have to say that I really enjoy a good Zinfandel. At it’s best, the Zinfandel grape can be made into a nice, full-bodied red that retains plenty of fruit flavor while also presenting a fair amount of complexity on the palate. Although this grape varietal didn’t make it to the U.S. until the 1800’s, it’s forebears were being cultivated and made into wine for centuries – in Italy (where the grape is known as Primitivo) and in Croatia (known there as Crljenak Kaštelanski and also Tribidrag as early as the 15th century). Now, I didn’t know about the Croatia connection until I did a little research online. You can read more on that at Wikipedia here and at FT Magazine in an article by Jancis Robinson here. Whatever it’s origins, I’m just glad that it wasn’t completely abandoned, forgotten or wiped out along the way. Like I said, I really enjoy a good Zin.
Notes: The color of this Paso Robles red was a deep garnet in my glass. On the nose I caught scents of earth, moss, oak, tobacco leaf, and menthol with hints of dark fruit. The body of this Californian was medium with medium+ tannins. I thought acidity was fairly high, and alcohol was at 13.5%. On first pour, the flavors I found were copious amounts of oak in addition to tobacco and cherry with a prune note on the finish which followed the characteristic dry tannic bite. After it breathed a bit, the tannins settled a tad while still remaining satisfyingly present as the cherry broadened and came to the fore. No, this wasn’t the most complex Zin out there- not even close. It also wasn’t the most expensive. Maybe I was just hankering after a dry red because so many of my recent experiences had been on the sweeter side. Whatever the case, I found this to be one AOK Zinfandel. Yup, I liked it. A final note: I didn’t pay retail for this one. I got this on sale for $9.99 which is below but closer to the $11-12 average price I saw listed online.