I am a big fan of breathing my red wines; all red wines, inexpensive ones, moderate ones, everything except “jug” wines...I have posted in the past re: the benefits and cautions re: breathing your wine. So for this little demonstration, I just opened a bottle of Seghesio Zinfandel 2003 (Sonoma) which cost me $19. Out of the gate is a gorgeous garnet color and the first thing to hit my nose is an absolutely wonderful aroma of candied cherries; something like a little kid might pop in his mouth and suck on it with glee. On the swirl, ripe plums are down deep but there is an overpowering mask of alcohol and what I call “stuff.” First taste reveals a wine of some intensity but a tannic foundation and acid accomplice overwhelm much of any tastes that I believe are waiting to be released. The finish is tannic and fairly nondescript.
NOW–if I were ready to sit down to dinner, or just had this opened for me at a restaurant and downed it with my meal, I might call it a wine with potential but all in all is disappointing and austere. If I didn’t know any better I would assess this as a very mediocre wine. BUT...I DO know better and I am guessing that this wine is going to burst wide open with some complexity and flavors galore with the tannins melting away into a gentlemanly doorman just waiting to grace my palate with a welcoming ingress. (Okay, getting carried away with the metaphor but I hope you get my point.) It is 2:30 EST in the afternoon May 23, when I opened this and I just put a beef brisket on the grill to slow cook/smoke for dinner with this wine. Be sure to read my subsequent post when I re-taste this wine with a couple hours of air on it! And while you’re waiting, raise a glass!