Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rosenblum 2006 Rockpile Road Zinfandel

This was one of the wines I received in my March club shipment from Rosenblum. Retails for $35, member price is $28. I have to say, I really liked it, and was surprised at the layers of complexity I tasted. Zinfandel is something of a first love for me, as it was the first varietal I latched onto a decade ago when I began drinking wine on a regular basis. It can be fun, cheap, spicy and juicy without being snobby or pretentious. You don't always need to focus on discerning its characteristics, because it's so pleasant and uncomplicated. Maybe that's why I have a hard time spending a lot for a bottle of Zinfandel (and I consider $30 or more expensive for Zinfandels).

My Zin drinking has been limited over the past few years, as there seems to be a trend of producers making their wines bigger and bigger, with high alcohol levels and high prices to match. I haven't enjoyed many Zins I've tried recently as much as I remember enjoying them years ago (this could just be a nostalgic perspective thing, but that's a psychological question I don't feel like exploring here) so I've subsequently stopped buying them.

Rosenblum is known for their Zins, so it was no shocker that I got one in my club shipment. I've been to their tasting room numerous times to taste some of the dozens of bottles they have (free tastings all the time thanks to the membership) but I haven't purchased any additional wines there because while they seem nice, I didn't feel like putting out $30-$40 a bottle for them.

Then I tried the 2006 Rockpile Road Zinfandel, and my opinion on the matter changed.

Here is a lovely wine with a nose of cedar, spice and blue and black fruits. In the mouth, I found an attack of clean tart berry fruit, which gives way to a beautiful blackberry preserve, blueberries, and finishes with vanilla spice and, on one night, seemed to show shades of grape bubblicious gum flavor.

This wine is big, but unlike lesser Zins, it doesn't devolve into a mix of unreal sugary sweet fruit flavors and vodka-like alcohol heat; instead, it ramps up in your mouth without losing its cohesion. I plan on picking up another bottle next time I visit the winery, as this zin is certainly worth the price.

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