Thursday, September 29, 2005

Gallo of Sonoma Zinfandel Barelli Creek Vineyard 1999 (PB)

On opening the nose on this older Zin has berries up front and an interesting little “bottle stink” reminiscent of Pinot Noir not Zinfandel. The tannins are fairly mellow yet tight. Without temperature control, the wine is way too warm so I’ll refrigerate it for a while before serving it with dinner.

This wine is clearly mature—at it’s peak I would think—and fairly nicely balanced with some good fruit showing. With a little air time it should open some and be even nicer. We’ll let it go for a half hour or so while I’m making my daughter and son-in-law an Italian dinner of sausage marinara and pasta. It is sweltering hot here in Alta Dena when it was in the 60’s last week before our arrival. Slaving over a hot stove is brutal but for the fam, it’s pure joy.

With an half an hour of air time that peculiar bottle stink is still present—odd. A little more Zinfandel character comes around with the breathing but it is still not a great example of the grape. The wine is tasty, the tannins loosen their grip but overall it’s just not all that typical. There is some characteristic spiciness one would expect of a Zin but it is subtle. The finish is okay and prominent in currants.

The price of this wine was $20 but it was on sale and for a nickel you get another bottle of the wine. So, for $10 it’s a fair value, at $20, it’s still a fair wine but there’s better out there. Note—this wine needs to be decanted as it has thrown a sediment. Raise a glass! The pasta by “the pastah” is almost done…

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