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Monday, April 20, 2009

2006 Robert Biale Zinfandel Napa Ranches

Alright, so we've had a fair amount of wine over the years and on occasion splurge on fancy ($30+) bottles of various things, today I figured we should try a Zin since we really haven't had any expensive Zins. The retail on this is $40, but you best believe the only reason why I bought it was that it was half off on a end of bin sale. Nice.

A big nose – loads of blackberry and black pepper.

Interesting....very interesting. Alcoholic burn, black pepper, and red fruit – sort of a peach/plum hybrid thing with some cranberry and a whole lot of gooseberry, even pomegranate gets in the mix. I don't even know how to describe this, it's sort of light in mouthfeel but big in body – that's contradictory, I know. It's thin, easy drinking, but if you keep it on the palate you get all sorts of stuff – fruit, spice, loads of cinnamon – almost like a Red Hot candy – and a punch of black pepper. Served blind, I would've never guessed this was a Zin.

The finish has some interesting notes of cola, bell pepper, and a bit of chocolate.

My gut reaction was “this is a joke at $40” but the more it opened, the more I thought about it, and the more I really gave it a chance – I have to say, this is a damn good Zin, probably the best we've had of the varietal (that admittedly is saying very little), and has perhaps given me a nice kick in the pants to explore a grape we've largely ignored.

Wine: 8.5
Value: Pass (it's good, very good in fact, but I can't say it's a value).

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