Saturday, May 26, 2007

Wente Smith Bench Reserve Zinfandel 2003 Wine Review (Number 1 in Flight- NW)

My wife organized a birthday party for me last week. One of the highlights was a blind flight of seven wines- four reds and three whites. We enjoyed this tasting, along with cheeses, grilled lamb, and lots of other good food. Ten friends were invited and every last bottle of wine was consumed.

The blind tasting was a lot of fun- and interesting! The reds were difficult to guess, while the whites were a little easier. We were asked to name the varietal and country of origin. My guesses were as follows:

Number 1 (red)- Pinotage/South Africa

Number 2 (red)- Merlot/Chile

Number 3 (red)- Tempranillo/Spain

Number 4 (red)- Cabernet Franc/USA

Number 5 (white)- Gruner Veltliner/Austria

Number 6 (white)- Sauvignon Blanc/New Zealand

Number 7 (white)- Riesling/Germany

The correct identities and tasting notes are in subsequent blog postings below for all eight wines, beginning with wine number one in this posting. Wine number one is as follows (Wente Smith Bench Reserve Zinfandel 2003):

Tasting notes:

Nose of red berries and spices
Fairly full-bodied and fleshy
Finishes with a slightly burnt rubber flavor

For Zinfandel, this is definitely a lighter style than most. Even so, it would be decent if it didn't finish with a burnt rubber taste. With Zinfandel, I'd rather search out a rich, ripe wine. And there are many in the $20 range, where this is priced.

In the blind tasting, I incorrectly guessed this to be a Pinotage from South Africa. I was thinking more along the lines of something more exotic when I picked up on the unusual finish. It didn't seem to burn off over time, and I wouldn't have guessed it to be a Zinfandel.

Number 1 in flight: kind of an odd wine- I wouldn't buy it again. Raise a glass to blind tastings!

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