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Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Vintner’s Cuvee XXXI

Wine: Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Vintner’s Cuvee XXXI

Grape: Zinfandel

Region: California

Vintage: Nonvintage

Price: $6.95

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: There is 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, 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. What a hedonistic and interesting wine!

Odds and ends: Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel is a powerful and aromatic wine that will work like a charm for this time of year. Each year, Rosenblum Cellars sources fruit from 15 growing regions and more than 80 California vineyards to make this juicy and drinkable wine. I believe this to be one of the greatest values among the company’s 40-plus wines, and is a no-brainer at less than $7 per bottle. It should have about two to three years of life for good solid drinking, and you can try it with anything hearty in the meat department.

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at gil@winevegas.com.

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