Wine for the 99

A thick stew of soggy macerated fruit greets the nose, acentuated by a pleasant side-helping of strong briary angst and copious Christmas spice. Definite deep earthy notes are also a big plus but the gravitas of all elements combined give strong forebodings to typicity and dearthy expected outcomes. Dark, deep black in the glass with barely-softening edges of ruddy garnet. Piles of salty leather and cigar cloud the bouquet, existing alongside ponderous layers of alcohol and cherry reduction.

Entry in the mouth a short-term blast of jellied fruit, followed almost instantly by blistering heat and alcoholic burn. Chewy and dense, the berry trying hard to keep up with structure but overt maceration has taken its toll. Swallowing it produces near-whiskey-like burn, the chubby nature of plummy Zinfandel apparent, but quite handily over-ruled by explosive–and unpleasant–concentration and heat. Convoluted and formulaic for the *bigger-is-better* crowd, a wine nearly impossible to enjoy, and one glass will get you a DUI.

2012 DENNER VINEYARDS Zinfandel Paso Robles 15.2

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