North Coast, California; 13.5% ABV
$5 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 21 Oct
According to the store manager, the winemaker for this wine was the same as for the 2011 Victor Zinfandel, which was pretty tasty. Although not as dense, this wine is in the same vein and also quite good.
It needs about 90 minutes in a decanter to show richer, ripe fruit of dark red / black cherry, blackberry / mulberry, and a little blackcurrant, a little spice / dark earth, and a slightly herbal and tannic finish. The wine is quite smooth and balanced, and acceptably complex. The fruit is still very fresh and young, and I expect the wine will keep well for the next few years in reasonable storage, although there’s not much reason to wait to drink it. However, as the rest of the first night’s wine aired further, the “herbal” part became more prominent and musty, reminding me of the District 7 Cabernet. This may be the character of most 2011 North Coast (CA) Cabs. However, that flavor was not at all as strong in this wine.
Also in contrast to the D7 Cab, this wine is delicious on the second night (stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air), showing succulent, ripe red cherry with complexities of the darker fruits above that became more prominent as it aired.