Friday, January 24, 2014

A Lodi Zin A Mother Could Love

If you are going to call your Zinfandel "the mother of all Zins," you had better make sure the wine really brings it.  The St. Amant Winery  Marian's Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 does bring it.  Oh, and it's a mother, too.  An actual mother.

The vineyard in which the grapes were grown is named for grower Jerry Fry's mother - Marian Mohr Fry Zimmerman.

It's a big, 100% Zinfandel wine - 15.1% abv big.  Only 403 cases were squeezed from the 8.3-acre block, and it retails for $24.  As for the "old vine" designation, they were planted in that fine, sandy soil in 1901.  That should justify the claim.

Oak aging took place over ten months, and 30% of the barrels were new.  Winemaker Stuart Spencer calls it "hedonistic," and that's a fair claim, too.

The wine shows a beautiful medium dark ruby color and offers up a great bundle of aromas ranging from the expected cherry and black cherry fruit with spices like cardamom and allspice to cigar notes to a surprise appearance of an almost Rhône-like bit of funk.  The palate really brings forth the spicy side of Zinfandel, mixing with some very dark fruit flavors and cola notes.  It puts me in mind of a Pinot Noir, although a very dark and hefty one.  While Zin can often be somewhat light and playful, this one means business from first whiff to the lengthy, savory finish.

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