I opened the bottle shortly after arriving home, and poured a couple ounces into my glass and was immediately hit with the fruit. I decanted about half of the rest of the bottle for later tasting.
After sitting for just a couple minutes in the glass the strong fruits have abated a bit but there is a definite hot bite (to my nose at least) to it. That heat, however, is a bit deceiving as I get very little of it when I took the first sip. I was very excited to get the Climber, and likewise excited about Zinfandel being a big component of this blend. I am a big Zin fan, and absolutely love the big fruit bombs typical of Paso Zins. This is not like that. Do not get me wrong, there is definite fruit here, but it is not over-powering and it is certainly not the dominant characteristic. Overall, first impressions are very nice...good, deep color and a nice balance of fruit and acids, a little dry on the finish, but a great red blend. For those who are not big red fans, I would definitely put this into the “easy and approachable” category.
After decanting and breathing a little more, it is even more balanced. The heat and tannins have moved even further to the back and the fruit is more pronounced. Again, the fruit is not overpowering, or even over done. It is there, in good balance with everything else and I am really enjoying it. I have a relatively good palate, but my wine-tasting vocabulary is perhaps not as evolved. Therefore, I will not go into detail about any specific berries I am tasting (they are definitely there, however), and I do sense some licorice and perhaps leather there.
My conclusion is I like it, and I am thrilled I was in for 3. With 25 wine woots since February, I was thrilled to finally be endowed with the privilege to be a LabRat. I apologize for its delay, however, it was out of my control. I hope my brief review is helpful, and if it comes back before the next offer at midnight my recommendation is BUY BUY BUY.