Light bright clear ruby, a BEAUTIFUL tone and transparency to see this variety be offered in. Funky wallow through basement dust and stinky cheese, a vanilla aspect pulls the Jolly Rancher and lacquer box into cohesive and proper Zinfandel plum.
Every time I see RRV on a Zin label, it kinda cracks me up because people get into ruts about where their wine should come from, and of course it intensifies the further from wine country you get and the less experience you have. It’s like Napa Syrah, or Mendocino Merlot, or Santa Barbara Cab, and people are forced to step out of their comfort zone–well, the ones who take a chance on an unfamiliar appellation. In this case though, it makes much more sense because RRV is literally RIGHT THERE, bordering everybody’s darling child DCV, a little cooler, more ocean influence, making Zinfandel probably more nuanced and lower in alcohol than the Northern neighbor. Now if that doesn’t sound like Zinfandel you would like, you probably shouldn’t be following me.
In the mouth, bright clean cherry, refreshing and wonderful, takes a turn down a dark alley, wet and oily, dank lighting, restaurant back doors with smokers in white floor-length aprons and movements in shadows. Even though you’re tempted to hold her closer, the warm cheery fruit is convincing: you have never been safer. Flinty and sharp, there’s no *Jam & Vodka* here, this thing scrapes by ever-increasingly on its green merits, the bitter chorus from the finish the perfect antidote to notions of flabbiness.
And it tastes and smells like Zinfandel, and loyal readers know how important that is to me. You can fool Cab people with Merlot, and you can fool Syrah people with Pinot, but Zin needs that special sauce ALWAYS in the nose and taste. This is that wine. Bright and beautiful and positively yummy; true to form, approachable and educational, and IMPECCABLE Zinfandel.
2017 T-VINE Zinfandel Russian River Valley Sonoma County 14.7