Sunday, July 10, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating****+ $$ Starry Night Zinfandel, 2003, Wilderotter Vineyard, Amador County, CA - BEST VALUE

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Original Review, June, 2009: Starry Night Zinfandel from Wilderotter Vineyard hails from Amador County in California. Grapes come from an 1100 foot elevation in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Production was limited to just over 300 cases.

In the glass, Starry Night Wilderotter Zinfandel is quite light red, moving towards brick highlights with its few years of age. You could mistake it for a pinot noir at first glance. On the nose, aromas are intense, powerful, even youthfully exhuberant. There is a distinct aged-cinnamon mixed with the red berries. A hint of vanilla motor oil plus pine needles adds a slick, viscous feeling. Quite beckoning.

On the palate, sweet cedar and pine comes to the fore, bringing luscious sweet red berries, steeped in black tea. Tannins are sleek. Acids integrated. Lovely balance. Fresh, gently sweet finish. Wish I had bought more. Four stars. Drinking beautifully now - doesn't really need any more settling time in bottle. Seriously awesome value in a handsomely-made, moderately-priced zinfandel.
Updated review, two years later, July, 2011, now eight years from vintage date:  Color is now light brick throughout.  Aromas are consistent, intriguing old cinnamon plus licorice plus tobacco plus motor oil. On the palate, this knits together beautifully.  I didn't expect additional advantage with more bottle time, but I was wrong. This hits a plus on the four stars now, eight years from vintage date, for its impeccable balance. The 14.4% alchohol is remarkably restrained perceptually.  Following long decant, two days kept at cool room temperature in partially filled bottle:  Aromas consistent but more oxidized.  Nicely knit still, but just crossing over the hill.  Drink with age, but skip the decant. 

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