Years ago, when I was in the very early stages of my wine journey, Zinfandel was the first varietal that truly caught my interest. Ever since, it has remained a wine that I enjoy exploring. Back in those early days I liked Chardonnay, found Pinot Noir to be very nice, and considered Cabernet Sauvignon an interesting wine. Yet it was my early experiences with California Zinfandel that really tickled my taste buds. Can’t remember now what those first few Zins were, their vintner’s, etc. I will say that their mix of fruit and (for me as a novice) unexpected non-fruit flavors proved a tremendous playground for my developing palate. My palate is, of course, still developing as I continue to learn more about wine and it’s many splendors.
Wine: Old Vine Zinfandel
Appellation: Lodi, California
Price: $7.99 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: It’s color was a dark ruby. The bouquet was very floral with menthol, pine sap, forest berries, and damp forest floor (sous bois). On the tongue it’s heft was light-to-medium with high acidity. Alcohol was at 14.5%. As for the flavors I found, I thought this a rather “round” flavor profile with distinct zingy notes. To me it had a core of black raspberry fruit and a mid-palate bready/muffiny taste. There was also plenty of menthol, pepper, and some pine along with a lengthy finish of dried cranberry. I enjoyed this budget Zin quite a bit for it’s surprising complexity and lengthy finish. I think this would be another potential to accompany a holiday meal, especially if you find yourself a little short on cash after purchasing your holiday gifts. [Many of us do!] Give it a try, and see what you think.