While I don’t live in California, I, too, won a bottle in the California State Lottery. Imagine that! I decided that, based on a planned menu, I would have a couple of nights for drinking zinfandel this week. So, Monday night I opened a bottle of 2007 Wellington Zin, Meeks Hilltop Ranch. Wellington seemed like a no-brainer since his wines have been up on wine.woot within the last two weeks. This was an easy drinking, cherry prominent wine that was still on the young side, but quite good.
Last night, I opened a bottle of the 2002 Renwood Grandmere Zin, which I think is grandmother in French if it spelled grand-mère. Upon PnP, using a Riedel glass, I noticed the wine looked a little light. I figured being in the bottle for 11 years would have darkened it. Upon swirling it, the wine clung to the top of the glass and the legs were slow to appear. There was some slight brownish bricking on the edges. The only smell I got was of oak and virtually no bouquet. It reminded of a weak port. The initial taste was of fruit that was a little stewed, including being a little on the sweet side. Not raisin-like or anything to indicate an oxidized wine. So, this is probably attributed to being an 11 year old wine. The finish was also a little dry, which was surprising. After seeing that it was abv of 15.5%, I was expecting it to be a little hot, but it was’t. So, at this initial phase, I’m not getting alot of anything. I figured I had better let it sit.
With no decanting/no venturing, I came back to try this an hour later. Now there was some plum to go with the stewy fruit and oak. I made burgers on the grill, which should have been a good pairing, but it wasn’t. The wine was drinking better by itself. I did not detect any spice or pepper. I decided to try this wine every fifteen minutes for the next hour. I found that it kept improving. It got softer (less harsh) and the prominent flavors were plum, possibly vanilla and the stewy fruit. I would have liked to have tried this wine when it was younger, because then I would be able to say, without hesitation, that the fruit is starting to fade. SWMBO, who tasted this with me every step of the way, enjoyed it and would drink it again. I probably would not based on my tastes and preferences. If you decide to buy this wine, I would open it and drink it between hours 1 and 3 of being opened.