Friday, June 22, 2012

Updated Review: **** $$ Sausal Family Zinfandel, Alexander Valley, CA, 2007 = BEST VALUE

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Initial review, by way of background: This is Sausal Family Zinfandel, Alexander Valley, CA, 2007, finished at 14.5% alcohol.  This is made from average 50-year-old zinfandel vines. 

In the glass: Deep brick red, just moving to opaque in the very center.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows a modest nose of red fruit, almost seems diluted.  Clean and sweet, though, with a hint of oak.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are a slick and smooth, lightly sweet mid-palate, still prickling your cheeks with a touch of acids, and showing medium weight red cherry fruit around the edges.  Quite balanced and understated, with light spicy tone and gentle touches of pepper. 

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for the gentility and balance. Good value.

Following long decant, four days kept cool under vacuum in partially filled bottle:  The nose has blossomed, showing ripe red fruits.  Outstanding balance on the palate, peppery, broad, light and lithe.  Chewy, full and ultimately clean finish.  Moves up a notch to four stars, making this a full-fledged best value.  And even longer decant, two more days without vacuum:  Fruits moving almost to overripe on the nose.  Palate held up, but lost a little of its vigor.  Recommend a modest, but not long decant.
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Updated review, over a year later, June, 2012:   Consistent color and aromas.  Smooth palate, showing just a hint of overripened age (via a very slight oxidative, broccoli character - but still pleasant).  Ready to drink up now.

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