TN: ZIns-Martinelli, Turley, Carlisle, WS, Radio, Gamba

Last night my friend and BBer had his annual high end Zinfandel tasting. This is always a good chance to try some Zins that I otherwise would not buy. I don’t drink a lot of Zinfandel but they can be quite tasty wines. For me, I enjoy their spicy robustness. All wines were consumed blind over a couple of hours.

Jeff started us off with two blind whites:
2004 Williams Selyem Chardonnay Heintz Vineyard RRV
Deeper golden in color. The nose has a ton of fresh cut oak. Also vanilla and seltzer. On the palate, this is full of that fresh cut oak. Some grapefruit. A bit bitter on the finish. Plenty of heat as well. I know some will like this style, but I do not. 50+4+11+15+5=85

2004 William Selyem Chardonnay Allen Vineyard
Golden in color, clear and bright. The nose has grapefruits and vanilla. On the palate, this is a bit silkier and leaner. Plenty of vanilla shake with a touch of citrus. Slightly bitter on the finish. Long finish with some limes. I preferred this one. 50+4+12+16+6=88

The ZIns:
2004 Carlisle Carlo’s Ranch Zinfandel
15.8% Alc. Purple/ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright. The nose has bramble, dark cherries and dust. On the palate, this is spicy with pepper and raspberries. Complex. Juicy texture. Some heat on the finish. Medium tannins. Slightly cough syrupy on the finish. My WOTN and the groups #2. 50+4+13+18+7=92

2004 Turley Zinfandel Moore “Earthquake” Vineyard
16.3% Alc. Purple, slight ruby in color with a slight dark brown. Opaque and a bit flat. The nose has bramble, cherries, raspberries and a pencil lead note. The wine is soft and tannic. Lots of black raspberries. With air, the texture got juicier but the tannins increased on the finish. Improved all night. My #2. 50+4+13+18+7=92

2004 Gamba Zinfandel
15.7% I missed the vineyard name on this. Inky purple in color, slight ruby swirls. The nose has cocoa powder, and raspberries. Soft on the palate. This is smooth and easy to drink. It also quite sweet. For me tastes, I could not appreciate the sweetness. Others had no problem as it was the groups WOTN. A bit of menthol on the finish. 50+4+12+16+6=88

2004 Albini Family Vineyards Zinfandel RRV
15.7% Alc. Ruby/purple in color with some black swirls. The nose is dusty with cherries and tarragon. Juicy texture. The fruit is bold and ripe. Black and red raspberries. There was a bit of acidity here, that I liked but others found overwhelming. This was smooth. The finish had a pruney element. 50+4+13+17+6=90

2004 Radio Coteau Zinfandel Von Weidlich Vyd.
15.4% Alc. Purple in color with ruby swirls. The nose has black raspberries, iodine and is quite tight. With air some bramble comes out. Juicy texture. This is smooth with a great texture. On the palate, black raspberries and a bit of a root beer element. Some bitters on the finish. 50+4+12+17+7=90

2004 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard
15.9% The biggest surprise of the night. The groups last place wine. An off bottle? Probably. Inky purple in color with some ruby swirls. Shimmering bright. The nose is tight and a bit dusty. This is simple with some sweet red raspberries. Tannic. Looking at my notes, I am guessing we had some low level TCA that we could not detect but stripped the wine. It was not bad but just simple. 50+5+10+15+5=85

2004 Martinelli Zinfandel Jackass Vineyard
16.9% Ruby in color with purple swirls. Opaque and slightly flat. The nose has raspberries, craisins, iodine and graphite. This is sweet on the palate. Raisiny. Tannic and plenty of heat. 50+2+12+16+5=85

2004 Martinelli Zinfandel Jackass Hill
17.0% Alc. Ruby/purple in color opaque and slightly flat. The nose is dusty with raspberries and cherries. The texture is juicy with cherries and raspberries. This is also pruney and raisiny. A ton of heat on the finish. Drinks like a young port from a not so great producer. 50+2+11+16+5=84

2004 Turley Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard
16.3% Alc. Ruby/purple in color, opaque and partially bright. The nose has dust, cocoa and black raspberries. Full bodied. Juicy texture. Plenty of tannins and heat. This has a complexity that is very interesting. 50+3+12+18+7=90

2004 Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard
15.6% Alc. Ruby/purple in color, mostly opaque and slightly bright. The nose has bramble and raspberries. Great texture. On the palate, this is soft and smooth to drink. Black raspberries. Firm tannins. Very nice wine. 50+4+13+18+7=92

Wow, a bad bottle of Carlisle huh? Don’t see folks posting that very often. Thanks for the honest review and write-up.

i have had many of these wines, some in multiple vintages, but never the Gamba? inky-purple expressions of a light red varietal doesn’t interest me much though.