Showing posts with label zinfandel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zinfandel. Show all posts

Is the 2009 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel as Good as the 2007?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I've noticed when a new vintage of a high quality:price ratio wine comes out I'm frequently disappointed with it. I loved the 08 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir - early impressions of the 09 aren't as favorable. The 03/04 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlots were great, but the 05 never rose to the same heights.

Sometimes I think it's irrational - that I'm hanging on to a notion I've had in my head of a wine that jumped out at as being a great value that future vintages could never live up to. A "first born" syndrome so to speak. I loved the 2008 Trentatre Rosso I wrote about recently and found notes saying it wasn't as good as the 07 interesting.  Like this one - "a shadow of the 07". I've never tried the 07 but maybe if I wouldn't have been so impressed with the 08?

What's got me thinking along these lines is the arrival of the 2009 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel. Prior vintages of this wine has been mainstays in this value hunter's wheelhouse. When you meet a guy at the neighborhood block party that brings an 07 Seghesio you know he's a wine guy.

The 06 vintage is where I first took notice of this wine and in 07 it garnered a 93 point Wine Spectator rating and landed in their Top 10 list.  Early impressions of the 08 left me feeling like something was missing from the wine - a similar flavor profile but less oomph.  Spectator rated the 08 88 points - a large drop from the 07.  Combined with a slight uptick in street price (from around $16 to $18) I didn't buy more of the 08.

The 09s are now replacing the 08s on retailer shelves so I was interested to try the wine and compared it side by side to a bottle of the 07. Bottle age plays into the mix but it was an interesting comparison for sure. For me, what the 07 has that the 09 lacks is this savory kick at the backend that sets it apart and keeps the wine enjoyable sip after sip.  The 09 is soft, round and luscious.  It's a great wine, but sadly I can't consider this a return to glory of the 06/07 vintages - at least not with what the wine is showing right now.

Maybe bottle age will reveal more of these secondary characteristics - I don't think I was so impressed with the 07 when it first came out either.

2009 Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma County
Street Price: Around $18
15% Alcohol

Big, round and soft. Conceals its 15% alc magnificently. Violets and ripe plums on the nose. Tannins are soft and acidity is minimal. Better than the 08 when it was first released but not as good as the 07 with a couple years of bottle age.

A nice sub-$20 Zinfandel.

90/100 WWP: Outstanding

I'd put the over/under on Wine Spectator's rating of this 2009 at 90 points.  We'll see what Tim Fish has to say soon.

Update (April 18, 2011): Wine Spectator released their rating for this wine. 90 points. (subscription required)

Have you had this wine?  What did you think of it?


Rediscovering an old friend you thought was gone

Thursday, October 14, 2010

One of the great quality-price-ratio wines to come to market the past few years was the 2007 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel.  Even though it was produced in very high quantities (68,000 cases) it sold quickly.  The wine retailed for only $24 - a 93 point Wine Spectator rating provided the initial push.  When it landed in the Wine Spectator Top 10 "most exciting" wines of 2008 that seemed to seal the deal.  I haven't seen the wine available at retail in almost two years.  Until today.

Lower Falls Wine Co. in Newton, MA continues to climb in my personal list of favorite stores to visit.  They're not the cheapest place in town but nor are they the most expensive.  More importantly, each time I visit I find a bottle or two of interesting wine along with expert recommendations and stories that are priceless.  Last time I was in there they had some half bottles of Felsina Fontalloro on sale and this time they had the 2007 Seghesio Sonoma Coast also in half bottles.

Given the staggered release schedules of various California varietals (Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon) wines from the 2007 vintage have been entering the market for the past couple of years.  Perhaps it's kind of obvious if you sit down and taste them alongside 2006 and 2008, but 2007 is an incredible California vintage across the grape varieties I enjoy most.  You can taste the difference.  There's just something about the vintage that elevated the wines from a lot of producers.

Back to the wine.  I couldn't resist the opportunity to crack one open right away to see how it was showing.  Like a friend you haven't seen in years that's still every bit as fun and kind as you remember them, this wine is still showing extremely well.

The wine still has chalky tannins that are surprisingly apparent considering it's Zinfandel.  What I've always loved about this wine is that it's so full of flavor and sure to please guests, and at the same time it has layers of complexity that reveal themselves if you pay attention.  It successfully avoids veering towards over-ripe/stewy aromas and flavors.  Instead it offers earthy, yet tart, chocolate covered cherries.  It's vibrant and fresh.  Conceals 15.5% alcohol amazingly well.  Highly recommended.

Still a favorite and I'm glad I was able to track some more down.  It had disappeared from my stash long ago.  The only problem you might find with this wine is that there are only 375 ml of wine in the bottle.

Where to Buy:
$12.99 for a half bottle at Lower Falls Wine Co in Newton, MA.  I bought a case and left 9 bottles remaining.  Run don't walk.

Check 'em out:
Lower Falls Wine Co.
2366 Washington St
Newton, MA 02462-1440
(617) 332-3000

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