My brow furrows a bit when heading into a bottle labeled “Zinfandel” and “Paso Robles”. Experience has taught extremely few will match my standards of the variety. There are a handful… and I’m always looking, as I have an open mind, despite heinous rumors to the contrary. This one showed great promise on initial sniffs: tight and un-slutty, muted flowery complexity shrouded in structure, so I decanted for potential. Medium ruby in the glass with a sliver of clear rim, the nose pulls out rich creamy barrel notes–woodsy and briar-ridden–solid black cherry subdued in a fist of bramble and cassis. To be honest, I’m not sure I would nail this as Zinfandel blind. And with Zin, that’s usually a good thing, although I firmly grasp the necessity of varietal typicity. Cab Franc maybe? My girlfriend said Grenache, though I probably would’t go there.
Tasting it evokes visions of Napa Valley versions of the variety–my favorite examples. Dry and brittle, un-embellished with chubby prune or raisin-y fruit-forwardness, structure mobs entry, middle and finish: starting high on acid and driving the Vitamin C straight into burly tannin. Bright berry and stone-fruit revolve at its core, sharp piquantness earning MANY points throughout. Luxurious dead-leaf and bitter pith keep balance in check–NOWHERE does heat manifest. Guessing ABV on Zin is one of my favorite pastimes, and being PASO and ZINFANDEL I have a hard time believing the label will be below 15, but the whole package SCREAMS low-14’s. Exceptionally well done and ridiculously infantile, this is a wine I want to taste in 20 years.
2019 DUBOST Zinfandel Worth Hill Vyd Adelaida Dist Paso Robles 15.75