Monday, October 13, 2008

Old bones with life: 1988 Dry Creek Vineyard Zinfandel Old Vines

Zinfandel today is nothing like Zinfandel of yesterday. I am not just pontificating unknowingly here but speaking from much experience. When I just started on this journey of winedom I drank Zinfandel on a regular basis. Purchased by the caseload and enjoyed every chance I could. . Alcohol level were realistic and fruit was spicy and meaty as today's Cali Syrahs are. They were not the big bombastic wines we find today with 17% alcohol. This wine is from that time.
The freshness of this is astounding. The color is a light ruby red with nary a sign of age. Amazing. The nose has great floral bouquet of red roses. There is a fresh red cherry component that is age defying. The palate has a very deftly balanced ad pretty array of red fruits: Cherries, plums, raspberries and pomegranate. There is some tar and tobacco present as well. The mouth feel is soft, but assertive, or as assertive as you could ever want from a 20 year old Zinfandel. The label states 83% Zinfandel, and 17% Petite Sirah. I think he PS has kept this one alive. This was aged in American Oak ad there is just the faintest trace of oak toward the finish, just a bit. A long and well structured finish of 2+ minutes completes the perfect package. WOW. Fully matured and holding on nicely, this was a real treat tonight. It has held up better than many 20 year old Cabs I have had within the last year or so. An old timer hitting a home run. They surely don't make them like this anymore.....Not bad for $15. (94 pts.)