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Big Zinfandel lurking in cellar

california wine zinfandel

A great find in the cellar last night in the form of a bottle of 1999 Rutherford Ranch Zinfandel. I don’t recall actually buying it but it looked like it has been down there for about 4 years. The label was dirty and bruised but had thankfully been laying down.

The corked pulled fine but showed a huge amount of deposit on the cork. Holding the bottle up to the light showed a bit of sediment in the bottom but not enough to worry about decanting. The aromas straight from the bottle were stunning. Big, strong and showing lots of alcoholic presence. I am guessing at 14%alc as that part of the label had been removed. A real smell of blackcurrant and chocolate dominated the nose.

In the glass the wine was dark purple red and clinging to the glass for all it was worth. Upon warming the wine opened further and winter berries with mint started to be shown.

The palate was stunning. Velvety tannins and a rich mouthfeel indicated this was a serious wine. The taste was pure Californian Zinfandel. Strong flavours of winter fruits and caramel stayed with the senses for long after the wine left the palate. All the richer for the additional time in the bottle – 9 years transformed this already superb wine into a stunning event.

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