From our series "Varietals I don't drink very often":
* Seghesio Old Vines Zinfandel 1999
Let me preface that 99% of the Zins sold in Europe are Mondavi Woodbridge, Gallo and Fetzer, so this was a rare find. Got me interested through the rave reviews of the 2000 (91 points) and 2001 (92) by WS.
Rather shy on the nose, it has lovely flavors of all sorts of black fruit with spices. Actually it's hard to take a TN as the 15.3% alc kicks in after the first glass already. Other than that it has soft tannins and is drinking nicely now (of course it should, it's a Zin!). Don't know the exact WS rating, it's in the 85-89 range; 89 from me (€26)
* Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras Cuvée Azalaïs 2000
This modern style Southern Rhône was decanted for about an hour. Has only very little funk. It displays black berry, meat and smoke aromas and flavors with a hint of gingerbread scent. On the full bodied side (13,8%), too. It's drinking well but can also last a couple of years.
BTW, this is their basic cuvee, they change its name every year. 2000 was the Azalaïs. WS 92 and RP 91, I'd stick with these: 91-92. (€17)
I must have been a root louse in a past life....