Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rosenblum Cellars California Zinfandel Vintner's Cuvee XXXI


This is a wine with a long name.  People with attention deficit disorder may lose interest in it before they finish reading the label.  But it's well worth investigating.  Rosenblum Cellars does some pretty wonderful things with the Zinfandel grape.  It's no surprise that winemaker Kent Rosenblum is known to many as "The King of Zin."

This blend of Zinfandels hails from 15 different California growing regions and over 80 different vineyards (!) from Sonoma to Napa to Lodi to Lake County to Paso Robles, wherever the four winds blow.  Its time in oak was split: 40% French oak barrels, 60% American wood.

It's a very dark wine, a purple ink color I can barely see through.  On the nose, the fruit comes first.  Blackberry and raspberry figure huge in the aroma scheme, and then a vanilla note comes through, with a peppery trace around it.  The palate shows extreme fruitiness, with a really nice cherry cola effect.  The medium body sits comfortably on my tongue and a good acidity means "food friendly," as if there were any doubt about it.  The finish lingers nicely.  The tannins are firm - it's a dry wine - but, surprisingly, the wine is quite smooth considering the elevated alcohol level.  The smoothness increased noticeably after the wine had been in the glass for about twenty minutes.

Rosenblum's Zinfandel Vintner's Cuvee XXXI is a great $12 wine.  So much the better that I picked it up for $9 at Wally's tent sale.

Winemaker:  Kent Rosenblum
Variety:  Zinfandel
Appellation:  California
Vineyard:  numerous
Vintage:  NV
Alcohol Level:  14.6%
Price:  $12
Acquisition disclaimer: Purchased by the author