Reviewed By: Adrian Bryksa
During the summer months when the heat pushes us outside, we can’t think of a more suitable varietal to pair up with a meal from the bar-b-que than California Zinfandel. Zinfandel or Zin has always been known as America’s grape and it has some of the oldest known vines in Amador County dating back to 1865. It has since been proven to be of European descent however it remains a staple to Californian grape growers at it represents 10% of total plantings within state vineyards. It is a varietal that will express terroir and can show jammy, ripe berry fruit characters from warm areas like Amador County and can be leaner, with higher acidity from the cooler climate Russian River Valley. We selected from producer Mazzocco in the form of their 2008 Sonoma County Zinfandel (15.2 % ABV) with fruit from the Dry Creek AVA within Sonoma.
After peeling back the foil cap and popping the natural cork enclosure, we poured our first taste into our Riedel Vinum Riesling / Zinfandel glass. Right out of the bottle, this wine has a gorgeous reddish black hue with a medium plus body. After giving it a swirl, its bouquet is undeniably Zinfandel with its signature notes of underbrush, cedar, red berries and spice. On the palate, this wine shows nice restraint that we wouldn’t normally expect from an example over 15% alcohol. The fruit here is more sweet red currant than blackberry, the mouth feel is soft and its acidity is higher than what we expected. There is a nice current of inky minerality that etches the palate over its finish and it reminds you slightly of its big alcohol profile with some tingling on the tongue and gums.
Conclusion: While a bit boozy, this 2008 Mazzocco Sonoma County Zinfandel meets in the middle in terms of styles from Dry Creek. It has superb sweet fruit, excellent acidity and a mineral streak that makes it a fabulous pairing for grilled pork back ribs, rib-eye steak or lamb chops. It’s quite a tasty example that will have broad appeal to those generally loving fuller bodied red wines. While it is delicious now, this wine can be cellared for another 2 to 4 years and if you are serving it, cool it down to 17 degrees Celsius and give it a 15 minute decant. Recommended!
If you liked this review, check out our coverage of the 2007 Campo Al Mare Rosso - http://yycwine.com/post/19678813074/2007-campo-al-mare-rosso-bolgheri