A scarily fruit-forward nose on initial pour–I had a bit of an eye-rolling moment–but with air it settles down into something quite elegant. Goldschmidt makes a pretty decent wine, plus “Alexander Valley” and a lower-than-usual alcohol were all grabbing-points for me to try this well-priced wine (Zin is basically the ONLY variety I check ABV on before buying). Nice rosy transparency in the glass, it has all the markings of a wine with almost un-typical restraint. Deep briary raspberry, a smoky floral and soft leathery texture fills out the nose–with only slight characteristic rotund-ness lurking. It smells like Zinfandel, but definitely a throw-back to the olden days of wine: before BIGGER IS BETTER and ZinBitch became de rigueur.

More gracious nods to varietal typicity in the mouth, but all punches are pulled a bit to streamline the chubby grandeur of the grape. Densely fruited but churning with acid, beautiful cherry and berry coexist alongside bitter green woody notes. It’s honestly almost claret-like–and here’s where I always get in trouble with Zin. “You want your Zinfandels to taste like Cab, McConnell!” No, I don’t. They NEED to taste and smell like Zinfandel–just not pancake syrup or jam & vodka. And this is NONE of those things. Substantial tannin tousles the hair of cheery plum and rich fruit, finishing everything off in edgy splendor.

This is a really nice Zin, and though the price is 3X what we paid for Zinfandel when most Zin tasted like this, it’s still a bargain. If you love Zinfandel, but have let them slip off your regular roster in the past couple decades, check this thing out. And would ya look at that: in yet another bow to tradition, there’s a chunk of PS in it. Probably not a field-blend, but who’s complaining.

2019 GOLDSCHMIDT ‘Fidelity’ Zin/PS 88/12 Alexander Valley Sonoma 14.9


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