I received the 2004 Zinfandel Bigalow Vineyard, which I allowed to rest and reach proper drinking temperature in my wine cellar for about an hour before opening it for mopsie2002, my landlord, and his wife. The lighting is terrible in my living room so apologies for the image quality.
Deep burgundy-plum colour; nearly opaque. Some noticeable legs - thin, but they coat the glass for ages!
Nose is gorgeous - very expressive (as it turns out, I like the nose better than the actual taste in this case). Dark fruit (Bing cherry, blackberry), earth, tobacco, spice. Complex, rich, and alluring.
On the palate it's much tarter than the nose suggested; very sour indeed, especially for a CA Zinfandel. Medium-bodied, but rather light (almost 'refreshing') in mouthfeel, probably due to the high acidity; to me it feels lighter-bodied than the typical Zin, and especially considering the depth of hue. Some good but smooth tannins pucker the mouth without too much bite. I get some sour cherry predominantly fruit-wise, but this is not a particularly fruity wine, certainly NOT a fruit-bomb, and I don't get as much fruit on the palate as I did on the nose.
Finish is medium and a touch rough, showing loads of tobacco and unidentifiable spice. On the whole, this doesn't strike me as Zin-like; in a blind tasting, I would be inclined to guess Chianti (really!). It has the sort of thinner, high acid taste yet still pretty bold and decently structured feel that Chiantis have. I sliced up some goat cheddar to get an idea of how this might pair with food, and as I suspected it went nicely; I imagine this would be great with pasta, such as a red sauce.
I enjoyed drinking it and I didn't feel that it was at all hot, despite the high alcohol content; it's very smooth and goes down nicely. But I'll be honest that I prefer a more jammy, bolder style Zin. I was definitely surprised by the characteristics this wine exhibited.
Nose - Soft, fruity, appealing scent. Something I can't quite place, fruity tobacco maybe? Maybe a bit flowery. Very mild and expressive.
Taste - Hits the tongue smooth but there's a bit of a bite when you swallow, kind of bitter in the back of the throat (finish). Rich and smoth, tart, acidic on tongue. Much less full-bodied than color would seem to indicate. Leaves a tingle on lips after a while. Second glass tastes more clear and pointed (refreshing).
Smells good. Nice legs. Color is nice. Goes down well and has a smooth taste.
landlord's wife's notes:
Beautiful color. I like it and would drink more.
Everyone reached for the bottle repeatedly, so its drinkability was definitely high. My landlord is not a big wine drinker and seemed impressed, while his wife, who drinks a fair bit of wine but is no expert, drank the most of all of us.
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