I tried this wine last weekend with a friend (fellow wooter councile) and SWMBO.
PnP -- Myself and councile
Color is dark red/maroon. Councile commented, "When you're buying a shirt, that's the color they call 'wine.'" Swirling in the glass produced medium length, thin legs. No sediment was noted.
There was lots going on on the nose. Dark and red fruits, dominated by plum, blackberry and cherry; mild oak, maybe a hint of pepper and cinnamon.
It was less complex on the palate, with the dominant flavor being mineral/wet slate. The fruits that dominated the nose were much more muted on the palate. Aside from the slate, I got a bit of blackberry and plum, maybe some black pepper. This is not a fruit bomb. Mild/moderate acid. It had a relatively short but pleasant finish with very mild tannins. Medium-bodied.
30-40 minutes after opening -- and a few degrees warmer --
The same aromas dominated the nose, but some subtle orange peel joined the other scents and we both noted some heat that hadn't been present at first. On the palate the mineral/wet slate had almost completely faded. This surprised us because it had been the dominant flavor earlier. Without the mineral/slate flavor, we had a hard time figuring out what flavors remained. Cranberry joined plum and blackberry for fruits, but they were still very subtle. Still some pepper. The heat on the nose was not reflected on the palate.
We tried the wine with cheddar cheeses, crackers and pepperoni. It doesn't crackle with the pepperoni like a spicy Zin would, but it also didn't clash with anything. Overall, the descriptor that kept coming to my mind was "refined." I should state here that both councile and I tend to prefer more fruit on the palate than this bottle had, but we both liked it and thought it complemented the foods well.
After about an hour we set aside the remainder of the bottle so that SWMBO could try a glass when she returned later in the evening.
4 hours after opening, when SWMBO returned --
SWMBO complained of a head cold that would severely hamper her ability to provide useful tasting notes, but still wanted to try it. So we all got a pour adequate for tasting. SWMBO could only say it tasted like red wine to her.
The nose was sweeter than it was before, and the heat we had previously noticed was gone. On the palate the fruit was finally coming out a bit -- dark/red fruits as noted before, but a little more up front. Black pepper still there. The finish was largely the same, with very little tannin.
I guessed the wine would sell for around $16-$18 in a wine shop. Councile wasn't sure what it would sell for, but preferring more fruit, commented that he probably wouldn't seek it out.
Summary: this wine has a complex and interesting nose, with a less complex palate. It pairs well with snack foods/hors d'oeuvres, though I don't think it has the full body or tannins it would require to stand up to a steak.
Comments added after reading the winemaker's description and the details of the offer --
Seeing that it's being offered here for $10/bottle plus tax/shipping, it has a good QPR, assuming you aren't looking for something jammy or juicy.
I think the estimate that it could be cellared for 10 more years and get more complex with age is optimistic at best. I'd say this is ready to drink now, and don't think it has the tannin or fruit it would need to lie down for a long time. It would probably be fine for a few years but I think ten years would push it past its prime. In my mind, that's not a knock against it. It's still a good QPR, and I like and appreciate wines that don't need extended time sideways to reach their potential.
As to the history/controversy mentioned in previous posts... neither councile nor I were aware of it. I had heard of Renwood, and had a vague memory of trying one or two of their Zinfandels in the distant past, but hadn't seen their wines in local (east coast) stores in a long while. Our tasting notes above are unencumbered by any considerations other than what we were tasting. Whether that's valuable or not is up to the reader.