Sunday, 7 July 2013

Turley Zindandel, Juvenile, 2007

Back to America for this one. First things first - I'm not a wild fan of the bottle design or the label but fortunately it was a present, so my design judgment wasn't a factor. I say "fortunately" because this wine turned out to be much better than it looked. Due to university days I had always dismissed Zinfandel as a grape that was used solely in the production of cheap rosé (hi there, Blossom Hill). To say I was underwhelmed would be a minor understatement... Again, fortunately for me, it wasn't a sentiment that lasted long.

Colour: A lovely clear, deep and pure purple.

Nose: Oodles of dark berries, oak and a hefty dollop of spice. Cinnamon and black cherry intensity with a certain light crispness on the top notes. Much nicer than the insipid rosé I associate it with!

Palate: This is really smooth and mouth-filling. It's busting with fruit and spice but somehow it seems light and clean. A bit of an enigma here. The spiciness lifts the fruit and makes this more than just a fruit-bomb (although it certainly doesn't hold back) while retaining a lovely freshness.

Body: Oomph. Full, but rounded, smooth and with absolutely no harshness - along with the extraordinary feeling that it's actually rather light. I can't work out if this is a hefty beast or a delicate flower. Decent slug of alcohol in there but not oppressive.

Finish: Finishes very mildly and fades with a gentle lingering hint of berries. Excellent balance and decent length here too. A finish this satisfying demands another sip!

Conclusion: What a lovely way to dispel my negative image of Zinfandel. Of course this could have ended up in a cave-man style - a blast of fruit with nothing else - but the balance and cleanness really made it stand out. Crisp and fruity, there's not a hint of mustiness in it. People think it'll last to 2014/15 but I'd say go for it now as it's going down a treat.

Points: 90. Good stuff!

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