Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rating: **** $$ Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Heritage Vines Zinfandel, Sonoma County, CA, 2002 - Wine Review (BEST VALUE)

Find Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Zinfandel at WineZap.

By way of background:Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Heritage Vines Zinfandel, 2002, cellar-aged until it is seven years from vintage date, is made from Sonoma County grapes, finished at 14.2% alcohol.

Original Review, December, 2009:

In the glass:Zabaco Sonoma Zinfandel shows as medium deep brick, opaque to within about an inch of the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured without a decant and swirled vigorously,this one has a bit of a corked aroma (it is capped with a traditional cork).  It has not completely ruined the wine, but it is noticeable and flawed, and blurs what otherwise would seem to be primarily red berry aromas.  I will taste it now, but also apply my plastic-wrap decorking technique to the balance of the bottle.

On the palate: Relatively smooth red fruit in the mid-palate, despite the corkiness.  Muted, as you'd expect from being corked, but sweet tannins flow to the side of your mouth.

And the finish:Modest acids seem to pair with what is left of the fruit for a modest, clean finish.

In summary: Given the flawed bottle, can't judge this on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.

Updated Review, one year later, with the corrected corked wine stored in filled half-bottle, December, 2010:  Color has held up with little additional bricking.  The aroma shows no cork now, but only deep plums.  Sweet and smooth fruit on the palate, full of black cherry, glides easily to your cheeks.  Settles with some inky tannins and an acid lift into your cheeks for a lingering finish.  All trace of cork is gone following the plastic wrap treatment and another year of cellar storage in a full half-bottle.  Three stars with a plus for concentration.  Good value. 

Following long decant, several days in partially filled bottle, kept cool under vacuum:  aromas have picked up some additional weight and black cherry inky notes; tannins and full flush dry black cherry fruit flood your mouth, bringing a nice, slightly gritty, tone to the edges of your cheeks.  Touches four stars and becomes a best value with this long decant.  Remarkable recovery for an initially corked wine, treated with plastic wrap.   

Find Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Zinfandel at WineZap.

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