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I debated whether to post this tasting in Another Current Thread, but ultimately decided to make it's own thread.

May 31 Saginaw Uncorked Zinfandel Tasting at Collins’ house

2007 Edizione Pennino Zinfandel Napa Valley (Rubicon Estate/FF Coppola) Nice nose with some complexity. Fruit and oak nicely integrated with firm acid and pepper spice on the finish. Begs for food. 89

2008 Orin Swift Saldo California Darker color. Darker fruits on the nose. Nice burst of fruit up front, but shorter finish. Somewhat monolithic. This is a big wine that showed a hint of heat on the finish (the only one that did, surprisingly). This was very popular with the group, but not my favorite. 87

2008 Forchini Old Vine Zinfandel Proprieter’s reserve Oakey-Fruity nose showing brighter fruit. Lighter red color than the others. Nice integration of fruit and vanilla oak with cedary nuaces. I liked the complexity here, and the unique personality. 90

2009 Francis Ford Coppola Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Director’s Cut Muted nose, Darker color. Rustic character with darker fruits, grippiness on the palate. Not my style. Might improve with more age (?). 86

2009 St. Francis Zinfandel Sonoma County “Old Vines” Nice, rich, balanced and smooth. This was very much in the middle of the group in terms of character, but there was nice flavor intensity. Nobody’s #1 favorite, yet everyone like it. A good crowd-pleaser. 88

2009 Four Vines Zinfandel Paso Robles Biker Lighter color and also lighter flavors, les intense. Spicy acidic kick on the finish. Probably my least favorite. 86

2011 Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma County Big and balanced. Nice use of oak. Drinks well right now. 91

2011 Ridge Geyserville I have always liked this bottling. This vintage manages to have a nice peppery spice to it, yet retains a smoothness and deceptive richness of fruit. Smooth tannins. 91

2011 Turley Zinfandel Rattlesnake Howell Mountain Comes across as very young. Spicey and peppery with grippy tannins. There is nice concentration of fruit and backbone. Probably will improve with age. 90+

2005 Edizione Pennino Zinfandel Napa Valley (Rubicon Estate/FF Coppola) Nicely integrated with age. Finishes smooth. 89

Pulled from the host’s cellar:
1998 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape The first bottle smelled of poo. And it really was foul--a contaminated bottle. Excessive Bret.
We opened a second bottle, which also had a stink, but this time in a good way. It has a stinky “French Barnyard” note that I enjoy (but my wife hates) intermingled with classic CdP garrigue. The palate was clean. Both the nose and palate carry ripe raspberry and slight prune notes. The frame is elegant, and there is a long finish. I can’t help but think this might still improve with another 5+ years. 92

2001 Chateau Haut Brion The nose on this wine was singing, especially after being opened for 30 minutes. The entry is understated, but the wine builds to a softly powerful mid-palate and then lingers on a very long finish. Sheer elegance. This is a stark contrast to the Zins, which many in our group didn’t appreciate, mistaking a lack of up front fruit for a lack of power. This was a good thing, as I could keep going back to the bottle while most everyone else re-visited the Zins! 95

1999 Joseph Phelps Insignia Very californian. Typical cassis and black berry nose and palate with nicely integrated vanilla oak. Good body. Uber smooth tannins make this very easy to drink. I’m finding that it tastes like so many other good Napa Cabs, it doesn’t stand out for me. Very good wine, just not distinctive. 92
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