Ridiculously aromatic from the first swirl, dark roasted-chestnut, candied-praline and sarsaparilla tag along behind a mean streak of Luxardo, roadside fennel, August blackberries and the suffocating panic of realizing no Zinfandel you pick up is going to smell like this for a really long time.
In the mouth, the acidic grip never loosens on the fruit, never letting it go pruney, never letting it go knee-hi in the grocery store or waddle into the Red Blend section for a fat sigh. No, it stays thin, it stays tight, it stays raspingly intimidating while angelicly delicate. And don’t read *thin* the wrong way. Meager it is not. An absolute powerhouse of fruity concentration of near unbelievable proportions, all buoyed magnificently by the grating, guttural grasp of mind-boggling tannin and conifer-ridden volcanic exposure.
People listen to me talk about my problems with modern Zinfandel and they go away with the impression that I want my Zinfandel cab-like. This is not true. Zinfandel needs to exude its own spirit. It needs to speak for California. It needs to say, “I’m Zinfandel, but I’m not stupid.” I don’t care how big of a Lodi fan you are or Sierra Foothill fan you are or a Dry Creek Valley fan you are or a Paso Robles fan you are: one sip of this Zinfandel will skew your metrics for the rest of your life. This is a game-changing Zinfandel. Of course I mean for 2013. 25 years ago there were quite a few Zins like this. But today it stands out so hard.
This is literally the Zinfandel you will compare everything you taste for the rest of your life against.
2013 LAMBORN FAMILY VINEYARDS Zinfandel Howell Mt. Napa Valley 15.3