Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Wines I'm Drinking: 2009 J&J Cellars Paso Robles Estate Zinfandel
Medium-deep garnet red. Although only three years old, this estate Zinfandel doesn't have the look of a young wine. Scents of tea, plums, and something floral at first, but later mostly suggestive of stewed fruit. Seems a bit hot on the palate right from the start--with the alcohol too prominent--and thus a little out of balance. The heady alcoholic component was accompanied by a rather dark, ripe, fruity sweetness and suggestions of caramel. Light acidity. Very little tannin to speak of. Seems heavy and lacking in finesse, if not entirely uninteresting. Sweet vanilla flavors on the finish. Lingering stewed fruit sweetness on a fairly long finish. Tastes like raisins more than anything, perhaps. The sort of wine that has some immediate appeal but that quickly tires the palate. I suspect this might be popular with wine drinkers that mistake the punch of ripe fruit and alcohol for quality in wine, but unlikely to please anyone with more refined tastes. After tasting the wine, I checked the label and was not surprised to see that it's nearly 15% alcohol (14.8%). Perhaps the grapes would have been better used to make a Port-style wine? In fairness to the winery, I'd be interested to taste a fresh bottle that has definitely been stored properly. There's a chance that the stewed quality of the wine I tried was caused or enhanced by poor storage, and that that's why this particular selection showed up at Grocery Outlet. Grocery Outlet is always an interesting adventure. From a little Internet sleuthing, I see that the 2009 J&J Cellars Paso Robles Estate Zinfandel normally sells for about $16 a bottle at the winery.