Saturday, May 29, 2010

2006 Chateau Montelena ZINFANDEL "The Montelena Estate" (Napa Valley, Cal.)

This was a very good, but somewhat atypical Zin. I thought it seemed more like a large-scaled, rich Bordeaux from Margaux or Pessac (Graves).

Laid-back darkish ruby color. Complex nose of smoky gravel, dark fruitcake, rich, ripe plums, and a bit of blackberry. Soft, deep, and low-toned flavors of baker's chocolate, really ripe plums, sandstone, and smoky minerals. Very full-bodied, with a bit of peppery heat from the alcohol (label says 14.4%), and some chewy tannin in the finish. Definitely at its peak. It was very good, and I'm certainly no winemaker, but it seems to me this would have be ridiculously great if the grapes were picked just a tad earlier, and the wine had a bit less heat and a bit more acidity to focus it. As it is, I'd say it's an 89. Was $26 at Spec's, I believe.

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