Region: Sonoma County, Calif.
Availability: Lee’s, Total Wine
In the glass: Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel is an opaque blackish-purple color with deep violet streaks going out into a crimson, slightly tinted red rim definition and high viscosity.
On the nose: There is a smorgasbord of deeply layered and crushed black fruits of the forest, with dominance by brambleberry, then blackberries, oak references, phenolic references, beef jerky, spice rack, black licorice sticks, black pepper and mineral content, but all around a very fruit-forward wine with slightly fruit-stewy undertones.
On the palate: This wine has a massive spicy mixed black fruit attack with crushed Morello cherries, blackberry puree, underlying licorice root, reduced black fruit stew, ripe black plum skins, peppery sort of notes, with subtle vanilla from oak. It has massive yet supple tannin structure with a balanced, firm midpalate and a longish finish, still peppered with spice and some dissipating phenolic components going into cranberry at the end. This is indeed a hedonistic and interesting wine.
Odds and ends: Each year Rosenblum Cellars sources fruit from some select vineyards to make this wine, but the majority of the grapes comes from heritage vineyards in northern Sonoma County near Cloverdale, in the Russian River American Viticultural Area. It is from the fabulous 2007 vintage and has therefore reached full maturity for a zinfandel wine, which makes this imminently drinkable. Although Rosenblum Cellars makes upward of 40-plus wines, I believe this to be one of the greatest values of them all. It should have about another year of life for good solid drinking and you can try it with anything hearty in the meat department, especially if it comes right off the grill and is accompanied by roasted potatoes and steamed green beans.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.