Monday, December 28, 2009

Revisiting Zins

It's no secret I don't drink a lot of Zinfandel. The popular style relies too much on jammy, raisined fruit, high alcohol and generally exaggerated characteristics. In my mind, this unbalanced approach looks a lot like this in the form of a polar plot:
However, since I've had more Bierzos than Zinfandels, California's 'native' grape, I figured it was worth re-visiting the local favorite. I picked one out that was recommended because of its more elegant approach. As shown above, it was much more acidic than my archetypal mental picture and also less over the top full bodied (due to high alcohol and extract). While better balanced than most Zins, it still was fairly one dimensional and a bit tart, albeit fresh.

So I'm still looking for that elusive medium bodied Zin brimming with complexity. This one was a fair value for the price, though.


maulmatt! said...

Ridge Lytton Springs Zin or Dutton-Goldfield Russian River Valley Zin I think would fit what you are looking for. Very balanced and dare I say elegant.

I kind of had the same opinion of Zinfandel as you until I went to ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) tasting that came to Atlanta. The styles vary and there are some absolutely delicious examples.

For something less expensive, try Peachy Canyon Incredible Red. It's a lighter style Zin with balance (13.9 % abv I think), good acidity, and the price is usually between $10 and $13- an excellent value.

CabFrancoPhile said...

I've been meaning to try Ridge for a while, that's on the to-do list. Dutton-Goldfield is not familiar, though. I think I'll need to go back to RRV and Healdsburg sometime.

maulmatt! said...

When you get back up that way, Dutton-Goldfield is a great producer to check out. Most of their line is single vineyard Pinots and Chardonnays, but their RRV Zin is great stuff. Near Healdsburg, Quivira in Dry Creek might also be worth checking out if you're in the mood for zins.

When you do try Ridge, their Zins are of different styles. Some of them I didn't like as much. The Lytton Springs falls more into the finesse and elegant category.