Megan and I picked up the 2005 Peju Estate Bottled Napa Zinfandel during our trip to the valley back in November. We stopped in for a quick visit, trying to kill a little time before our scheduled visit with Christophe at Titus Vineyards. We were in luck because on our random visit we were treated to a unique tasting experience by the famous “Yodelmeister” himself Alan Arnopole. Check out Alan in action on in Wine Country for an idea of what our tasting experience was like.
On to the Zinfandel…
The 2005 is 100% Zinfandel and was aged for ten months in American Oak, ten percent of which was new. The remaining balance was aged in a mix of one to four year old barrels before being bottle unfined. Although it was a pretty high octane wine at 15.7% alcohol, there was no heat on this wine and it was very nicely balanced.
Nose – plum, boysenberry, Cinnabon™ (yes I spelled it right, it smells like the smell that emanates from the Cinnabon™ store), raisin and fig
Taste – blackberry, pepper, pine and black tea
Mouthfeel – full body, good acidity, and leathery tannins
Finish – long and dry with a nice black tea taste
While I am not usually a huge fan of Napa Zin, I was utterly delighted with this wine. Lots of dark fruit, and fun sweet cinnamon notes on the nose, balanced with earthy pine and black tea on the palate. The acidity and firm tannins nicely complemented and helped to balance the superb richness of the wine. At $28 this wine is a bit pricey, but I think it is of comparable quality to some of the Zins in the same price range from the Dry Creek or Russian River Valleys. Give this wine a try if you come across it out there–it could improve your perception of Napa Zin, as it did for me.