Wednesday, September 25, 2013

2011 Trentadue ZINFANDEL "La Storia" (Alexander Valley, Cal.)

This is a very reticent, brooding Zin.  Unlike most Zins, this needs 2-3 years to be at its best.

Very dark violet-tinged ruby.  Low-toned nose of dark blackberry, fragrant, sweet woodsmoke, and chalk.  Mouthfilling and dense, yet with a surprisingly light mouthfeel.  Very pure, dark, monochromatic flavors of chalky, dense blackberry extract.  Loads of very soft tannin.  Finish lasts a long time.  This is all potential right now.  B+, with the potential to be an A in a couple of years.  I got this for $19 from

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2009 Mazzocco "Pony" ZINFANDEL (Dry Creek Valley, Cal.)

A rich, ripe, hedonistic Zin.  But not over the top.  I like it a lot.

Rich, deep, sultry dark ruby.  Richly fruity, strikingly pure nose, with loads of ultra-ripe black raspberry syrup notes, warm baking spices, and clean, stony minerals.  Concentrated, weighty, and deeply-flavored.  It's got loads of  stony mineraliness and blackberry and ripe cassis fruit. Very full bodied, and there's a bit of heat in the finish, but it's a feature, not a bug.  The finish goes on and one, with something like dry vintage port notes clinging for nearly a minute.  A very distinctive wine.  Try it with a grilled porterhouse.  A.  I don't know how much this cost.  My brother got it direct from the winery and gave it to me.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2011 Jean-Marc Burgaud BEAUJOLAIS-VILLAGES "Les Vignes de Thulon" (Burgundy, France)

A great value in a crisp, flavorful Beaujolais.  Clean, fruity, crisp, minerally.  Gulp this sh*t down!

Crystal clear dark ruby violet color.  Fun, exuberant nose of crunchy berries, cold plums, and clean, stony minerals.  Very lively in the mouth.  Not a lot of concentration, but it's doing somersaults and ricocheting around with crisp berry fruit and stoniness, good acids, and a tad bit of tannin.  Very clean finish that invites sip after sip.  B+.  Fantastic value that I got for $9.99 at Table & Vine in West Springfield, MA.  Imported by Ideal Wines, Medford, MA.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2009 AnimaLibera MORELLINO DI SCANSANO (Tuscany, Italy)

This is a very outgoing Sangiovese, showing the darker side of the varietal.  Fully mature, however, or even a bit past its prime, so it needs to be drunk up.

Dark ruby with tawny hues.  Scorched earthy and closed at first pour, it quickly opened up to show a nose of deep-toned dark cherry fruit and an intense minerally streak.  The next day, the fruit was beginning to fade and be replaced with medicinal and oxidized notes on the nose.  Full-bodied yet quite soft, the wine has a very nice texture.  Not sure if it's just ageing rapidly or whether it was a bit heat-damaged.  Either way, I get the sense that this was better several months ago.  B on the first day. B-/C+ on the second.  Was $9.99 from  Imported by Superior Wines, Cranford, NJ.

UPDATE (2/8/14):  subsequent bottles are oxidizing fast.  Using my remaining two bottles for cooking.  Revising score to D.  No excuse for making a Sangiovese that tanks this fast.  My comment about "fully mature" above?  Forget that.  This one's at the retirement home and too tired even for shuffleboard.