Tasting Notes, 2009: Quick Recap of Some Recent Wines

martinelli-giuseppe-luisa-zinfandel2003 Ridge Del Carlo Zinfandel: Originally offered as a Ridge wine club release, I purchased this bottle from their Lytton Springs tasting room without ever previewing it. For the most part, it’s rare that I would ever buy before tasting — especially from a tasting room — but I’ll often give Ridge Zinfandel the benefit of the doubt. Given its Dry Creek pedigree (one of my very favorite appellations), it seemed like a worthy gamble. That being said, the wine was good, but not remarkable. Although I cannot remember the specifics in terms of pricing, it was most likely $30 or less, which is just about right.

2004 Ledson Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: I’m making it a point to drink through my mid-tier 2004 Cabernets, now that they have about five years of age. I suspect that this particular Cabernet was an end-of-day purchase, because it struck me as particularly thin, with decent flavors, but not too much else happening. I’m not sure what I had seen in it, and I’m not sure why I had purchased Cabernet from Sonoma when I live in Napa Valley. Having researched the price online for these tasting notes, I am more than just a little disappointed in myself. I don’t want to talk about it.

2004 Arger-Martucci Vineayrds Syrah: I purchased this bottle from the Arger-Martucci tasting room a while back, and was frankly surprised at how great it was. I really enjoyed it, and this Syrah actually prompted a return visit to the tasting room a few months ago. I was eager to sample the winery’s current releases, especially if there was anything as good as this wine in the portfolio. Although I felt that the current Arger-Martucci wines were good, nothing I tasted (not even their 2005 Syrah) could match this particular bottle. But that’s wine for you.

2005 Martinelli “Guiseppe and Luisa” Zinfandel: At 16.9% alcohol, this is the utter definition of a fruit bomb. It was big and flavorful, and pretty well balanced considering its high-octane nature. Frankly, it’s the kind of wine that requires a half-glass adjustment period before it begins to develop its appeal. Even so, I view this wine as a novelty in a certain sense — look, there’s no real need to push the 17% barrier. I drank this particular bottle of wine with friends last week, pairing it alongside some delicious BLTs. Smoky, thick-cut bacon is one of the few ingredients that can stand up to such a beast.

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