Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Van Ruitten Vineyards 2004 'Old Vine' Zinfandel (California)

On the weekend we tried a new recipe: pulled chicken, it was delicious - I would say it was fall off the bone, but it was made with boneless chicken breast, so there was no bone to begin with..  On Monday we decided to eat the left overs and I thought it time to pull out an old Zinfandel to see if the wine would go with faux-BBQ (already know it's great with pulled pork, ribs, etc, done the real way - this was a crock-pot make your own sauce kinda deal).  This wine was made with 50+ year old Zin, which I suspect is good enough to call it "old vines", aged 24 months in American oak.  Most grapes would find themselves so inundated with oak after 24 months that you could barely tell if it had fruit, but this 14.5% Zin held up well and I think now it's starting to show good fruit character even within its cocoon of spice.  The nose is cherry, raspberry, cola and white pepper and as the wine opened up in the glass there were signs of spiced-vanilla that lured you into just smelling the wine, but don't stop there.  The palate proved to be pretty smooth, it would almost seem syrupy if it wasn't for the spice and pepper notes that plowed through.  Within about 20 minutes the spice and pepper backed off to reveal a pleasant cinnamon-cherry-cola flavour that carried through to the finish.

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