Unfortunately, I had a long review that got lost in the ether, I'll try to reconstruct it...
After the initial tasting with wootified, there was an interval of several hours - a dinner with flounder intervened, as well as work. I also harkened to cheron98's comment about how closed the wine was.
Interestingly, that wasn't my very initial impression. As I mentioned in the earlier quickie post, the aroma of fresh raspberries predominated and was remarkable. It was strong at first - and clearly fresh raspberries that were 'just' ripe, not the overripe aroma one often gets with fruit forward fruit bombs harvested at high Brix. I was thoroughly taken with this initial aroma.
When I first tasted the wine with wootified, the same fresh raspberry taste predominated in the entry. Again, absolutely lovely! The middle palate at that point was pretty solid - good fruit depth, no flatness, some acid, some oak.
Again in the initial tasting, there was a discordant note (for both wootified and me) in what I'd call the transition from the middle palate to the finish - that place where the wine goes over the top of your tongue into the back of your mouth before you swallow. At that point, there was significant heat, with some bitterness, that was both unexpected after the entry and middle palate, and less than pleasant. At that point, the finish was very closed, but evidenced a little tannin and acid.
Tasting after dinner (with no wine in between - I had a flounder dinner without wine to preserve my palate, the sacrifices I make for Scott and woot!), I found the fruit aroma actually less overwhelming than originally, more of a hint of the berries, with a little oak and maybe some chocolate, and now a noticeable alcohol. Clearly, there's more going on than just the fresh fruit.
The entry at this point remained characterized by the fresh a point raspberries, and a very nice entry it is. Even after another 2 hours as I (re)write this with a glass in hand.
The middle palate remains solid, fruit framed with oak and tannin, well-knit. The discordant note in the transition is still there, but muted.
The finish is of medium length, with fruit and tannin. Rather smooth for such a young wine. Does it have the balance to age? More on that in a bit.
Overall, I like the wine.
I didn't do Davis numbers, but my overall impression leads me to place it right on the border between Superior and Standard - pretty high praise for a wine that's been in the bottle a couple of weeks and has made a transcontinental trip to see me. So, I suspect some bottle shock. Yeah, I believe in bottle shock.
Is this a food wine? will it age? My inclination would be to drink the wine mostly this Summer to take advantage of the really special fruit aromas and flavors, though I'll certainly put a bottle or two away to see where it goes. In the old days, one would very occasionally find Zinfandel that was as freshly fruity as this, reminiscent in the idea (but not the particular flavors) of the freshness of Beaujolais or local fresh wines in Europe. Not often, but once in a while. I haven't had anything with quite that initial fruit - but not overripe, as I said - in 20 years or so.
Foodwise, I'd do it with grilled salmon, mild cheeses, and perhaps some lightly grilled meats with subtle sauces -- no barbecue sauce for this wine.
I'd definitely buy this at any reasonable QPR and would recommend it to friends as a nice middle weight fresh wine.
I'll be editing this later when I hear from wootified.
On the label: SWMBO also agrees that she prefers the 'Z' lable, although she's not in love with either of them. Her graphics-trained eye (over 30 years in the graphic arts in printing) suggested that the label needs to be large, about 150% of its current size.