Remember those old commercials, “I could have had a V8!”   The protagonist, after downing a soda, or a glass of sugary juice pretending to have something to do with fruits of the forest, laments not choosing the equally delicious but healthy V8.  Well….if I could borrow the commercial for vinous application, perhaps this weekend’s motto would have been:  “I could have had a Brunello!”

I’ve been on a hunt lately to find a widely available Zinfandel with loads of jammy fruit, and lots of Zinfandel character. I picked up a few examples based on recomendations, and I have to say, the hunt is still on.  The 2008 Nalle Dry Creek Zinfandel was first out of the shoot.   It’s got a nice medium cranberry color, and an engaging nose of zinberry fruit, spice, and a hint of menthol. In the mouth the fruit is medium bodied, and has a sort of restrained claret feel to it. Not what I’m looking for in a Zin.  This is way too understated a style for me. Finish is medium, flavors are solid but not terribly focused.  Everything about this is “medium”.  I think Julius Caesar said it best in History of The World Part I:   “Nice, nice, not thrilling, but nice.”  87 points,  about $28.

2008 Nalle Zinfandel

The second example, was the 2009 Carlisle Zinfandel – “Carlisle Vineyard.”   I’ve had some Carlisle Zinfandels in the past and many have been unique and delicious, but this one didn’t live up to my hopes.  In the glass the wine is dark and very extracted looking.  The aroma is wonderful.  Very floral, with spice, briary wild fruit and toasty oak.  In the mouth, the wine displays medium bodied fruit, slight eucalyptus, a bit monolithic. Not as jammy as I would have expected given the color and it’s a bit too acidic for me – which given my love of Italian wines, is saying something.  All told, this wine is very tasty, but it didn’t blow me away and at the price, it’s a terrible value.  All I kept thinking the entire time we were drinking it was: “I could have bought a 2006 Brunello instead…..”    86 points, about $50!! 

2009 Carlisle Zinfandel – Carlisle Vineyard

The postscript…..There was about 1/3 of the bottle remaining the next day.  After sitting on the kitchen counter overnight, the wine fell apart pretty badly.  The fruit had faded and the alcohol became more noticeable.  Be warned. 
Ci Vediamo!
I agree to have my personal information transfered to AWeber ( more information )
Looking for even more wine tasting notes, recipes, news, and insider info not found anywhere else? Sign up for the Tuscan Vines newsletter.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.