Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: ***+ $$ Zin Your Face Zinfandel, Cameron Hughes Wine, CA, 2008

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Original Tasting and Review, August, 2010:

By way of background: This is Zin Your Face Spicy Jammy Yummy Zinfandel, CA, a unique labeled offering from Cameron Hughes Wine. The 2008 vintage is finished at 14.9% alcohol.  As described here, most of Cameron Hughes wine offerings have been limited close-outs, labeled by varietal, year, region and lot number.  This one, a more mass-market offering, shows a full-frontal retail label.

In the glass: Zin Your Face shows as deep red, only the faintest hint of purple at the edge.  Surprisingly muted colors for such a new wine.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this California zinfandel brings forth bright red fruit and alcohol, touched with a wisp of vegetable and bramble.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are a rugged red mid-palate, slightly sweet and bracingly bright with acids.  The red currant shows sweet against the high alcohol, holding for a moderate finish.

In summary: Overall, a big and energetic experience - not the more traditional bold and jammy style from California, despite the label.  Rates two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its exuberant friendliness. 

Following long decant, two days under vacuum in partially-filled bottle: Consistent aromas. On the palate,more of a lush blackberry and light oak come through now, raising the profile and giving this some additional promise with another year of bottle age.

Updated review, over a year later,  October, 2011:  Still light red in the glass, pinot noir in tone, with no hints of purple any longer. Soft red fruit on the nose, no vegetable tones now. The palate brings rock candy sugar together with red currants for a friendly sip, with acids taking a decidedly back-seat now, merely lifting the tone and holding the finish together for a few moments.  The friendliness lifts this to three stars, making it a best value when achieved on sale.  At retail price, it is value for money.  Following long decant, five days kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Wow.  Both the nose and the palate have held fast, despite an exceptionally long period in air.

Updated review, almost five additional years later, now eight years from vintage date,  August, 2016:  Consistent color.  The noseless wine reviewer will no longer comment on aromas alone.  On the palate, a sweet-feeling, mid-red fruit lifts to the cheeks, with a nice light acid and deep surround sound.  Raises to three plus stars.  Very impressive at eight years of age, and now a formal good value.

Inspired by this wine:  After a day working the brickyard, buddies and I are headed out for a pint.

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