RAW WINE has given us a very happy excuse to take stock of our library wines. After careful excavation of the cellar, a few mystery artifacts, and much tasting, we've decided on two older estate zinfandels, amongst others, to keep us company in London.
The Estate Vineyard is a second generation planting (the first was pre-prohibition) comprised of primarily of Martini Monte Rosso Zinfandel clones on phylloxera resistant St. George rootstock. Dry farmed, head-pruned, Italian goblet style. No herbicides, pesticides, or other nasties.
1996 Estate Zinfandel
A vintage that was (so says Tony) initially disjointed has harmonized. Pale garnet. Strong red fruit on the nose with a little rubber. Dark cherry and strawberry dominate the palette. Vegetal undertones. The finish is white pepper. Deep fruit and high acid implores drink now, but this wine will develop for another decade.
1987 Estate Zinfandel
Lots of color, depth here considering the age. An explosive, heady nose of ripe red fruit. Prune, eucalyptus. Attacks gently but comes on strong with earthy, brambly fruit mid-palette. Balanced acidity. Finishes spicy, herbaceous, and very long. This is maybe my favorite estate wine.
And a gratuitous image showcasing that '87 color (with, admittedly, a little help from the sun). More on that cider in the background later.