Monday, October 18, 2010

Zinfandel: One for Now, One for Later

It's raining in Los Angeles, which means it's officially Zinfandel season. Every autumn, when the heat finally breaks, I look forward to making some soups, stews, and roasts and cracking open some excellent wine. Of course, Zinfandel season extends through the winter and even into the months of BBQ to come, so I've got one recommendation for now and one for you to put aside and drink in 6-24 months when the urge strikes you.

2008 Gnarly Head Zinfandel Old Vine is a very good QPR wine for the price (suggested retail $10.99; available for $6-$14) Autumnal blackberry and licorice aromas lead to a smooth, mouth-filling wine with blackberry, black cherry, and pepper notes in the flavors. The aftertaste rounded out the wine nicely, with more licorice and berry. Not as peppery and complex as some Zins, but it doesn't have the big, jammy quality that many have at this price point. Perfect for enjoying now, perhaps with a warm pot of minestrone if you are stuck at home giving out candy on Halloween.

The 2007 Guglielmo Family Winery Zinfandel Private Reserve is a good QPR bottling that I think will deliver very good QPR in time. (suggested retail $19; this new release is only available at this time through the winery) There are reticent berry aromas that can be coaxed forward with air, and lots of pepper and spicy clove on the palate. All are hints of great things to come for this wine, with its solid berry core. It is well-structured, has great acidity, and will start to shine in 6 months or so.

Full Disclosure: I received samples of these wines for review.


Unknown said...

My husband would love the gnarly head, thanks for the good review

Kathy Howe said...

I always recommend Gnarly Head to people who like sweet wine.

Dr. Debs said...

Well, I wouldn't have described Gnarly Head as sweet. Fruit-forward to be sure. Just want to make sure I understand: do you mean you recommend GH to people who only drink sweet wine because they find reds too tannic? If so, I think this is a great call.