Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two Disappointing Zinfandels, Plus One very nice 2007 Layer Cake Primitivo, Equals Success


This formula did not find its Genesis in a bottle, but rather in the logic of a fulfilling exploration.
Now, getting down and to the dirty business of being critical.

Rombauer el Dorado Napa Valley 2007 Zinfandel, $26.99, 84 points,  is a Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde wine. On the one hand it seemed focused with fruity grape, ending in a soft-candied finish, but then Rombauer disappointed with over-whelming alcohol (15.5% abv) and floral notes; tasting quite different from moment to moment, I had the trickiest time trying to pair this Zin. First failure was salami pizza, then sweet and sour pork, porter-house steak. While none of this seemed to compliment this wine, a dark chocolate-raspberry truffle worked real well.

Macchia 2008 Zinfandel , $18.99, 85 points, is another Old vine Lodi Zin (50 years or more, I believe) though fruity and zippy, at 15.9% alcohol, this Zin is awkward and unbalanced, and I say this with two experienced wine tasters admittedly telling me otherwise; they would say go for it, but I say NO.

Now if you think I have something against the alcohol, you would be wrong, because I've tried wines like the Two Hands Brave Faces, and at 16.4% alcohol, I can vouch for a well balanced spicy wine that is great with ribs or just stand alone.

I don't want to leave you without the Plus One in the equation, nor do I want to leave you without a recommended wine to try.

Layer cake 2007 Primitivo (Zinfandel) is simply a wonderful wine, and at $15.99, 89 points, is a wine worth every penny. From Salento, Italy, some of the source vines may be as OLD as the Roman era (DNA testing suggests that since it appears that "Zinfandel" grapes came from Croatia in the 1700s), this may not be true; all input to the origin is welcome. This 2007 Primitivo displays soft tannins in a well balanced 13.5% alcohol structured fruit-filled, warm wine, and with gentle peppery finish, gives one the pleasant relaxation of a wine that doesn't make demands on the palate, but is a complement with friends and food (pairs well with many foods; try this Zin with good Munster cheese and sesame crackers, or a spicy tomato pasta, or just as a stand alone), or just have it as part of the ambiance; this wine will not whack you over the head and will not disappoint!

Don't forget, if you are buying wine in New Hampshire, your best selection will be at the State Liquor Stores, of which the new Flagship store at the Hannaford's Northside plaza on DW Highway North in Manchester-Hooksett is a beautiful experience.
Telephone # (603)622-5044


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1 comment:

  1. Want a glimpse of Croatia?