WD, thanks for the opportunity to labrat! I hope I will make you proud.
I guess it won't make a difference to sales at this point (sold out! as of this writing, 5pm est) but I'm happy to give some opinions.
LAB RAT REPORT:
Well, WD picked the right labrat this week.
I'm a TA for a course called "Understanding Wine and Beer" at Cornell (you heard of it?), so I thought I would use this, my first labrat opportunity, to let all the TAs and the professors have a taste and get their opinions on this wine. Lots of reviews for the price of one!
Below is my review, followed by a summary of their comments.
JANKRIS PICARO 2004
Label: Gaudy purple and gold, with parallel faces like the girl scouts' logo. Yikes. But you can't judge a wine by its label (especially when it's free! [thanks WD!])
Color: a tinge of reddish orange peeking through the normal deep purple of a young wine; it's starting to show its age, but just slightly.
Nose: Honestly, at my first sniff i got an interesting aroma: shellfish. like shrimp shells. Further down, i got sawdust, like a freshly cut 2x4. Eventually this led into some dark fruit, blueberryish characteristic jammy zinfandel notes.
Palate: At first sip, I felt this in my cheeks. The astringency puckered them right up, an experience that I've rarely had in a non-experimental wine before. That being said, it wasn't altogether unpleasant. I like a wine that firmly announces its presence in one's mouth, like a medieval herald's trumpet (you know, with the big banner on it). Dun da da DAH! WINE!
It's a bit woody, maybe owing to time spent in barrels?
It also had a hint of sweetness, which called me back to the fruit. I wouldn't be surprised if this has a bit of residual sugar.
On the palate I was reminded of a wine I had a little while ago, Viña Borgia (garnacha). It had juuuust a tinge of bitterness to go along with the astringency, what one might call "oaky tannin".
TA and Professor Comments:
PROFESSOR 1 picked up some red fruit on the nose. As a habitual Burgundy drinker, he found the astringency a bit overwhelming. I believe the word he used was "intense".
TA 1 (the head TA, son of a Napa winemaker) found that it had "not a lot of spice" and some "oaky tannins"
TA 2 found it "rich in flavor" and "powerful"
TA 3 got a bit of reduction on the nose (which i bet could explain my shellfish?). She also was having trouble getting fruit notes.
PROFESSOR 2 was by far the most loquacious. He picked up, in addition to jammy fruit, rosemary. On the palate (specifically, on expectoration) he got cedar and mint, with a little bitterness. He conjectures that the "harshness" he perceives is a combination of the high acidity and astrigency. He guessed that this wine would sell for $20 or so, so if you bought it, you've got that going for you.
Overall: I think this is a decent everyday wine, and I think the price point is more than appropriate. I've got another bottle coming, and I might stick it away for a year or two and see what happens with it. My guess is that the astringency will come down and it will be a lot more drinkable. I suggest pizza or lasagna with it.
I will try it again tonight with some dinner and post any further opinions.
first woot ever:
Rinfrescante (before wine.woot!)
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