My first Lab Rat report! Thanks for the chance to critique!
7:00PM PST: First, haha, the bottle wouldn't open! Took a lot more oomph than usual to get that cork to come out, and when it did, it was all at once (and I almost spilled!).
So, first impressions - the color was the usual garnet, with a hint of brick red, and a very pale touch of violet in the meniscus.
Big fruit right up front! The only thing that broke through was the alcohol (was there port in this vintage too?). It's not biting or medicinal, but very present. First pour is fairly viscous, and the legs took a fair bit to show. First sip, it heats me up all the way to tummy like a brandy, but not bad, just not typical. It sort of smells like it was mulled a few hours prior, if that makes any sense. Main palate is stone fruit, brick dust, and a coffee note hidden down in the bottom, with a vegetal finish. Chewy tannins! Betting/hoping the coffee note steps up and goes cocoa.
7:30PM PST: Alcohol has mellowed out nicely, and is now just providing dryness. Palate is now jammy, but with mineral notes. I'm having a rather robustly-flavored dinner, but this wine completely wipes out the taste of my food (medium spicy italian sausage and rigatoni with a handmade red sauce with basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and red bell peppers). Not cooperating with the food, just washes it away.
8:30PM PST: It's really calming down now. Still has that dusty flavor, now paired with a leather note. The fruitiness is gone, and it's still dry. It never really seemed complicated/integrated, just bold and...noisy?
8:45PM PST: Coffee note came front and center in a big way!
10:30PM PST: Well, seems like it all fell apart...is just juice, alcohol, and tannins now.
And that's all I got wooters. I'm not really tempted to finish this bottle, but I may if I can do it before a reasonable hour.
Disclaimers: Zins are not my thing, and I keep none in my collection. Last year's scored roughly 87 on CT, and that number seems fitting this time around as well.
Hope I Lab Rat'd properly, and feel free to ask any questions, as I'll continue drinking for an hour or two!