Bertapelle Cellars – 2009 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, William Talty Vineyard
I was lucky enough to magically acquire a bottle of this wine. Magic, I say. Thanks magic! To help you know what your reviewers enjoys in a Zin...my Zin shelf right now is very heavily laden with Wellington and my favorite is probably the Meeks Hilltop Ranch 2007.
Color was a very clear brick red...matched the label beautifully. Zero sediment spotted.
Me - Red fruit, strawberry most prevalent, bit of leather & spice back there somewhere but subtle.
SO – Rasperry/cherry/strawberry
First Taste (PnP)...
Me – Red fruit is dominant, but tart. Tartness reminds me of blackberries that aren't quite ripe yet. There's a little bit of tobacco/leather/spice on the back, but it's pretty subtle and I noticed it more on my first few sips than I did even 5 minutes later. Tannins created a nice mouthfeel and it had a long (simple) finish. Some zins can shock you with a lot of heat on first blush...not this one. Pretty smooth right from the beginning (not too surprising since 14.4% ABV isn't super high for a zin).
SO – Very fruity. It's good, but not complex. Not at all syrupy. Nice tannins which I like a lot. There's some cinnamon/spice on the very back, but it's really subtle.
One of my favorite things about the monkey visits is that we plan a meal that we think will work well. Paired perfectly with burgers. The wine isn't overly complex, but had some nice structure...it seemed to be just what a perfectly grilled burger topped with bacon and avocado needed.
Also stood up well to the bleu cheese test I gave it before dinner.
After Some Time to Breath...
Concentrating just on the wine (no food), I have to say I liked my first glass the best. The longer the bottle stayed open the more the subtle hints of other flavors (leather, spice, etc.) disappeared. A couple of hours later (not decanted, bottle just open on the counter) it was noticeably more one-dimensional (just red fruit, slightly tart). If I drink it again I'll make sure to either serve it on a night I know we'll finish it quickly or keep it capped tightly between pours.
This is a good summer red if you grill all summer, like we do. Enough tannins to be interesting, but not a heavy wine that's going to make you want to curl up in front of a fireplace and notice the layers of flavors. Not very complex, but easy to drink when you're enjoying good company and food.
Full disclosure...I'm passing. While I'd be very happy to sip this with future burgers, it's just not a tempting QPR for me given other options that can fill that niche for me.