Thursday, July 21, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: *** $$$$ Hunt Cellars Outlaw Ridge Vineyard Zinfandel Reserve, Paso Robles, CA, 2002

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By way of background, opening thoughts: There is something I do like about Paso Robles, CA, for softer, big reds.  This is a premium zinfandel from the region with almost a decade of age on it, a wine I'm looking forward to trying.

Original tasting and review : This is Hunt Cellars Outlaw Ridge Vineyard Zinfandel Reserve, Paso Robles, CA, 2002, finished at 14.3% alcohol.

In the glass: Deep brick red with some orange highlights. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows bold, deep and tangy red berries.  Some sweet motor oil overtones have muscled in with age.  From the aroma, seems like this will be bright and full of old red berries.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact soft, balanced red berry elements, blending clean aged tobacco, with old world bramble elements and some raisinettes. A bit of smokiness comes through.  

In summary: Overall shows its age boldly yet with grace, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for the still-in-balance elements.  Hunt Cellars Outlaw Ridge Zinfandel Reserve is ready to drink now, no additional aging needed.  Decanting may be risky too, but I will venture with a small sample... Following long decant, six hours in a flat bottomed decanter at cool room temperature:  Almost a touch of citrus coming through along with the red berries on the nose.  Sweet tobacco and fragrant, spicy red fruit merge in a bold mid-red experience, becoming even more intriguing for its blousy, New Orleans-y style showiness. 

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