Napa Valley, CA, 14.1% ABV
$8 at the Richmond, CA, store on 4 May (comp)
On my post about the Benessere 2011 Zinfandel “Black Glass Estate Vineyard,” Seedboy and DLuber commented that they also liked it, but had found this wine to be flawed. DLuber: “cooked, rubbery, and rotten aromas and a funky palate.” Unlike what usually seems to happen, my bottle was actually good!
After the long airing time of the Black Glass Zin, I prepared to let this also air 3 – 3.5 hours. However, this wine took even longer, 3.5 – 4 hours, to show softer fruit of black and red raspberries, red plum, and a vegetal tarry flavor. The acid in this wine is stronger and more tangy than the Black Glass Zin’s, and this wine is less complex. Although I prefer the Black Glass Zin, this wine is still good for the price, and will likely also improve with age in cool storage.
The next day, the second half (stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air) still needed 2+ hours of air to show darker and slightly richer fruit of boysenberry / almost blackberry, darker plum, with some black and red raspberry in the background. The “tarry vegetal” flavor is much less noticeable. The acid is still a little strong, but of ripe fruit, reminding me of the plum jam I make. Overall, I still prefer the 2011 Black Glass Zin to this wine, and especially given Seedboy’s and DLuber’s bad experiences with this wine, the Black Glass is probably the one to choose if you see both. However, this wine is still good for the price, especially if your local GO allows you to return open bottles, or you are willing to take your chances aging some for a while.
Disclosure: This bottle was an unsolicited gift from the store manager.