Four Vines Paso Robles "Biker" 2009 Zinfandel, $21.25-$24.99, 92 points, is a quaffer. I liked it better than the 2008 vintage. The "Biker" is a beautifully balanced cherry-plum, licorice (Ethan was picking through the flavor layers and tasting basil), with an unnoticeable 14.8% alcohol. The finish is fair sweet spice (Ben had nailed it with ginger-94 points) and (Ethan had the finish lingering-92 points).
Sextant Paso Robles "Wheelhouse" 2008 Zinfandel, $15.29-$19.99, 89 points, is a high QPR Zinfandel with lots of quality and flavors of plum and cherry fruit with good acidity, but it is the "bold but delicate finish" Ben scored this Zin 87 points, "drastic burn finish" Ethan scored it 90 points, and my own sense of bourbon on the finish which stuck with us (14.9% alcohol listed on the bottle, though their web-site has it at 15.3% sextantwines.com2008-20Wheelhouse.pdf).
HOBO Branham Vineyard Rockpile 2009 Zinfandel, $20.70-$31.00 (Bought at Hannaford's super market) but you could find this at Bella Vino as well), 90 points, is another excellent QPR wine.
Now for the "warm whimsical": spiced pair, raspberry truffle, and mid-palate Novocaine (Ben 85 points). Ethan, 88 points, found cranberry fruit and an imbalance of whiskey notes (14% alcohol).
I was a bit more sanguine about taking the HOBO train, finding gentle damson plum, cranberry, and strawberry along with a fine ginger-spice finish with slightly more tannin than the other two.
All in all, we had mucho gusto with these three Zinfandel wines; none of them disappointed and all paired nicely with a variety of foods provided.
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