Friday, January 23, 2009
I've often said that there's not enough Zinfandel grown in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Conventional wisdom has it that Zinfandel is best suited to warmer areas such as Paso Robles, Lodi and Amador, and while I don't deny there are some good wines being made out of those areas I generally prefer the wines from Dry Creek and (obviously) the Santa Cruz Mountains. They have the rich flavours while keeping the alcohol down to around the 15% mark, still have enough acidity and while fruity aren't stuck with noticeable residual sugar.
A good example is the 2004 Woodside Estate Zinfandel. A great nose of smoked bacon and raspberries and some alcohol (it's 15.2%) leads in to a fruity wine with raspberry and clove flavours but no port-like characteristics, no overripe flavours. On the finish there's liquorice and adequate tannin and acidity.
The current release is 2005, with orders being taken for the 2006 vintage. I personally favour drinking Zinfandel within 5-6 years of the vintage; not that Zinfandel can't age, but it's all about that fresh fruit flavour.