About a year and a half ago we had a bad experience with a few bottles of Zinfandel. They were poorly put together wines and did not taste good. I have a note from the time in my book saying “STOP BUYING ZINFANDEL”, and we did. Till now. I’ve done a bit of reading on the variety in the past few weeks and thought it was about time to try it again. We were gifted a Lodi Zinfandel for Christmas that was pretty delicious (I’ll write about this one later) but I assumed this was because it was high priced and care was put into its production. This mid-range priced 2012 Predator Old Vine Zinfandel doesn’t disappoint either.
See: This wine has a deceptively light density and red/violet colour (which apparently is not uncommon for this variety). Despite the look it has medium to thick legs, which I thought might mean we’d have a full bodied wine upon taking a sip.
Smell: This wine if full of aromas but not a fruit bomb as some Zinfandel are produced to be. There are lots of aromas of candied fruit, strawberry, blackberry, some black pepper spiciness along with a small element of wood/dirt. After the wine had been open for a while (and while eating old white cheddar) we got more sweet aromas of toasty caramel. This wine is a delight to smell all evening and even gets better the longer it sits.
Taste: Not disappointing after such a good start, this wine has a powerful and dense fill-the-mouth feeling once you taste it. Smooth textured with very fine tannin, really well balanced all together with the right amount of acidity in the end. Lots of jammy flavors of raspberry, strawberry, licorice, almost vanilla and cinnamon/cloves. It ends in a medium length fruity finish, with mocha and some oak.
Conclusion: This wine is a bit above our average wine price limit of $20 but I think it is worth all the extra money. It is very fun to drink and I’d think accessible to almost anyone. I’ll be sharing it some day with some wine loving friends for sure. We had a hankering for something savory to go with it so pulled out the old white cheddar and found this to be a very nice addition to the experience. I’d say this is a good way back into this variety for us and a Zinfandel to compare others to, so I’m giving it a 9.0/10
- Zinfandel (Old Vine)
- USA, California, Lodi AVA
- 2012 – 14%
- Predator (Rutherford Wine Company)
- $23.75 at Chateau Wine and Spirits (Lacombe)
- Real cork
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