Rip Van Zinkle

Dense ruby right out to edges and not staining.  Fairly typical in its warmth and roundness, but interestingly closed in.  Toasted bread and soil with a briary alcohol lurking behind a little note-book paper.  There is no mistaking this for Paso.  Ripe and flowery in the mouth, thick, viscous and chewy but completely UN-over-the-top.  Not a piece of cloying, fat lifeless fruit anywhere in it.  No FWD-koolaid-on-steroids or obese oxidized tar.  This thing may have plums in its heritage, but it has never heard of a prune.  Decanted good and hard to thwart the teensy funk and integrate the AL, and it is showing marvelously–might even be ok without.  My Zinfandel reviews almost always concentrate on what the wine is NOT, and if you have been a true fan of this amazing grape–and seen its potential–for 20+ years, this will not come off as a negative to you.  We used to talk about what a great zinfandel WAS, and now are forced to differentiate very specifically what it is NOT.  The rule has become the exception, and that is indeed sad.  This is a true Sonoma Zinfandel of good source and handled in the classic Swan, Rafanelli, Mazzacco, etc. style.  Not thin–by any stretch–and wonderful while packing a punch of classic Zinfandel greatness.  The 15-6 is carried SO WELL.  ♦♦

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