Home | Wine Reviews | Wine Journals | Updates

by Tom Hill

A self-admitted wine geek, Tom lives in Northern New Mexico and works as a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory doing numerical neutron transport & large scale code development. He has been tasting wines since 1971, participates locally with a couple of large tasting groups in his area, and is practically a fixture at most California wine festivals, such as the Hospice du Rhône, Rhône Rangers, and ZAP. Other interests: Tom is heavily into competitive sport fencing (foil & epee), biking, cooking, basketball, skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing.

Zinfandel - March 29, 2012

The BacchusBadBoys convened last Thurs (3/29/12) for a BYOB Zin tasting:

  1. DasheCllrs Zin LouvauVnyd/DryCreekVlly (70 yr old vines; 14.3%) 2006: Med.dark color; slight reduced/metallic/ozone/ burning metal nose that goes away to fairly strong blackberry/DCV raspberry/boysenberry slight cedary/oak bit alcoholic attractive nose; soft bit tight/tannic strong blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/spicy rather vanilla/bourbob/Am.oak slight dusty/ old vines flavor; med.long blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/spicy some cedary/toasty/oak/vanilla/bourbon soft finish w/ some tight tannins; seems a bit tightly wound right now and needs a few yrs of age; speaks more of RRV Zin than DCV. $32.00
  2. Ridge Zin PasoRobles BenitoDusiRanch/PasoRobles/SLOCnty (14.4%; Bttld: Dec 2011; Drk: 8/16-8/18: EB) 2010: Very dark color; very intense boysenberry/jammy/blackberry slight herbal/hay mow light vanilla/Am.oak beautiful classic Paso Zin nose; fairly tart/bright intense blackberry/boysenberry/ Zin/spicy/peppery/PR jammy some Am.oak/vanilla/ bourbon rather dusty/old vines lovely rich/ripe/intense fruit flavor; very long fairly tart/bright intense blackberry/ PR jammy/boysenberry/Zin quite spicy/peppery some Am.oak/vanilla/bourbon finish w/ fair tannins; the bright acidity makes this more like a DCV Zin than Ridge's actual DCV Zins; Ridge hit a home run on this one. $27.00 (Z-List)
  3. Ridge Calif Zin DusiRanch/PasoRobles/SLOCnty (100% Zin; 14.9%; 41 brls; Bttld: Jan'04; Drk:
    11/03-11/09-11/11: PD) 2002
    : Dark color; intense blackberry/boysenberry/PR jammy Zin/spicy somewhat chocolaty/camomille some dusty/old vines bit RCCola/DrPepper very perfumed/fragrant/ aromatic beautiful nose; soft very intense blackberry/ boysenberry/Zin/PR jammy rather chocolaty/ DrPepper/RCCola some vanilla/Am.oak very perfumed/fragrant light dusty/old vines quite spicy flavor w/ modest tannins; very long/lingering intense blackberry/boysenberry/PR jammy/Zin quite spicy/perfumed/ DrPepper some Am.oak/vanilla soft/rich/lush finish w/ modest tannins; probably as perfect as it will every get; classic Ridge PR Zin w/ an unusual perfume & fragrance to it; absolutely lovely and my favorite of the Ridges.
  4. Ridge Calif Zin DusiRanch/PasoRobles/SLOCnty (14.5%; Bttld: Dec 2002; Drk: 10/02-10/07: PD) 2001: Dark color; strong PR jammy Zin/blackberry/boysenberry/spicy slight floral/piney/DrPepper/black cherry cola lovely nose; soft very strong blackberry/boysenberry/chocolaty/PR jammy/spicy/Zin slight alcoholic light vanilla/oak flavor; very long ripe/blackberry/ boysenberry/PR jammy/spicy/Zin light vanilla/Am.oak chocolaty/black cherry cola finish w/ some tannins; lovely smooth evolved Zin that shows a bit of drying out character. $23.00
  5. Ridge Calif Zin DusiRanch/PasoRobles/SLOCnty (15.2%; 54 brls; Bttld: Dec 2002; Drk: 10/02-10/07-10/09: PD) 2001: Dark color; very intense chocolaty/boysenberry/blackberry/PR jammy/DrPepper slight herbal/perfumed rather dusty/ old vines slight vanilla/Am.oak nose; soft bit more tannic/tart intense blackberry/boysenberry/PR jammy/spicy Zin light vanilla/Am.oak slight DrPepper/ chocolaty dusty/old vines flavor w/ light tannins; very long intense blackberry/PR jammy/ boysenberry/ chocolaty/DrPepper light Am.oak/bourbon finish w/ modst tannins; a bit more ripeness and intensity of blackberry fruit but not at all overripe; carries the alcohol very well; lovely mature PR Zin. $26.00 (ATP)
  6. Martinelli Zin VellutiniRanch/RRV (16.3%) 2007: Med.dark color; rather hot/alcoholic/fumey strong spicy/blackberry/ boysenberry/very ripe some toasty/oak nose; soft rather hard/tannic somewhat hot/alcoholic very strong/ripe/blackberry/boysenberry/Zin light toasty/charred/oak flavor; med.long rather hot/alcoholic/fumey intense blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/ spicy some toasty/charred/oak finish w/ fairly strong tannins; speaks more of Zin and slightly less hot/fumey/overripe than the Hayne; still needs some age but the alcohol will pprobably catch up with it.
  7. Turley Zin HayneVnyd/NapaVlly (16.1%) 2005: Med.dark color; quite ripe/overripe boysenberry/blackberry/Zin intense ripe fruit rather hot/alcoholic rather vanilla/Am.oak/toasty nose; slightly tart intense ripe/overripe/boysenberry/ blackberry/Zin/huge fruit strong vanilla/toasty/Am.oak some hot/alcoholic flavor w/ some drying tannins; long very ripe/ overripe/boysenberry/Zin strong Am.oak/vanilla/pencilly/toasty somewhat alcoholic/hot/fumey finish w/ fairly strong tannins; starting to really show the alcohol; very ripe/overripe/intense fruit but seems to be drying out a bit on the palate; not sure this iis going to get better because of the alcohol. $65.00

And the usual BloodyPulpit:

1. This was a pretty interesting collection of the Ridge DusiRanch Zins. I had just received my Z-List shipment and wanted to try the 2010 Paso right away. So I fleshed it out w/ an '02 from the archives and Larry dredged up the two '01's to go with them.

I have, of course, followed the Ridge Dusi Zins from the very start, back in the mid-'70's. They were originally harvested to be around 12% alcohol and were rather lean/hard/chalky in character....my least favorite of the Ridge Zins. Since then, they're harvested to be in the upper 14%'s and are much the better for it. Sometimes, the crop gets away from them and they go over 15%. They typically show that Paso jammy blackberry Zin fruit, but w/o the overripe/raisened character those Zins sometimes have. They are generally softer than the other Ridge Zins, not quite the structure, and make for earlier drinking windows.

I was quite taken by this new 2010 Paso. It was one of the later-ripening Zins for Ridge that year and has more acidity to it than any I can recall since back in the '70's. Yet it still has that classic Paso jammy fruit. I suspect that bright acidity will allow it to age well beyond Eric's recommended drinking window. It's one of the best Ridge Paso Zins that I can recall in many a year.

My favorite of the Ridges was the '02. It had a perfume & fragrance to it that suggested very nice development in the btl. The two '01's showed a slight drying out character, but still very lovely and should go another 2-5 yrs I'd guess. Slightly preferred the '01 Dusi to the regular.

Paul & Eric report that Beni, who should be in his mid-'80's, is still doing fine. Recently had a hip replacement, but not let it slow him down at all. Some yrs ago, Paul & DaveGates took me by to meet Beni. A real pleasure it was; with a good sense of humor and a bright twinkle in his eye.


[Additional Wine Reviews from Tom Hill]


Home | Wine Reviews | Wine Journals | Updates

Copyright © 1993 - 2012, Tom Hill- All rights reserved
No original material may be reproduced without written consent
Mail & Comments
- Grape-Nutz
Updated 4.01.12