2011 Reserve Lot 11 Old Vine Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, CA, $7.99

Silverdale, WA    15% alc.    (Purchased on 10/24/14)

IMG_1845There have been a lot of 15%+ alc. Zins at GO lately.  Are we stepping back into the 80’s?  Or are the monster Zins not selling, so GO ends up with them?

This one is a deep dense black/purple color.  Nose is a bit tight, but opens nicely to ripe blackberry, tar and a slightly “sweet” vanilla character that I’m liking (most likely from oak that’s in the background…which I also like).  Once it fully opens, it’s quite aromatic.  In the mouth, the sweetness of ripe fruit hits the front of the palate and kind of thickly oozes across the tongue where the acidity begins to add tartness and balance.  Flavors then show more ripe blackberry and tar along with leather, earth and super-strong espresso.  Clearly Zinfandel in character.  Plenty of fruit and tannin in the fairly long, chewy finish.  The oak shows most in the finish too.  Surprisingly doesn’t seem hot or alcoholly to me.

I’d say that this Zin likely qualifies as a fruit bomb.  But as I’ve said before, they don’t scare me.  I like ’em.  I like the more balanced and reined-in aka. finesse Zins too.  A time and a place for everything (Turn, Turn Turn, as Pete Seeger said).  Seems that this would have been a perfect wine for Zinfandel port production and alcohol-wise, it’s nearly there anyway.  My only complaint…these higher alcohol wines tend to put this ol’ guy to sleep anymore.

As an added note, because the vintages, the heavy punt bottles, the date of arrival at GO and the alcohol levels were almost identical, I decided to open my first bottle of Victor Vineyards Zin to try alongside this one.  The Victor is more ruby colored, clearer, slightly more subtle and slightly less dense, far less oaky and overall better balanced.  But I like them both for what they are…very obvious examples of the variety and both at reasonable prices (the Victor is a dollar less).


9 thoughts on “2011 Reserve Lot 11 Old Vine Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, CA, $7.99

  1. wine lover

    I just love it. not too fruity not too spice but light smooth and tense in month. the color is rich the test is rich. this price for this wine, we are lucky for it. :))

  2. Darrell

    “My only complaint…these higher alcohol wines tend to put this ol’ guy to sleep anymore.” Lim, I try to pair Bordeaux with my venison since these bottles are a bit more celebratory and I find I can drink more wine this way since the alcohol is usually lower than most CA reds. The only trouble is, for me anyway, I can’t find decent Bordeaux at GO, wines that smell and taste like Bordeaux.

    1. Seedboy

      Darrell, I’ve been buying GO wine for more than 15 years, and have to tell you that Bordeaux has been its biggest weakness. There was good Bordeaux when Webvan and then Wine.com went bankrupt (2001), and on a couple of occasions they’ve gotten in real bo do at good prices, but the inexpensive stuff is generally garbage. I’ve had better luck with GO Barolo even.

      1. lim13 Post author

        I most heartily concur with your comments, SB…as well as with those of Darrell, regarding Bordeaux at GO. Last year, I finally told myself I would not experiment with another one. Nearly every one I’ve had has been too young, too fruity, or just plain swill.

  3. Allen Rivers

    Although I appreciate your enthusiasm, your review of the lot 11 slightly off the mark. The wine has neither the body nor the fruit density to support that level of alcohol. That being said, the greatest flaw with this wine is the vegetable/bell pepper finish that lingers on the palette, as though the grapes were crushed along with with too many stems. The wine was both Venturi’d and decanted,yet it still exhibited this flaw. I cannot recommend this Zinfandel

    1. lim13 Post author

      And while I appreciate your candor, Allen…I find your comment that my review of the Lot 11 being “slightly off the mark” to be highly subjective. You obviously found the Zin to be flawed by a “vegetable/bell pepper finish”…I did not. And I just tried it again tonight…and I’m particularly not a fan of those green flavors. Perhaps (as we’ve discussed numerous times on this blog) it was your particular bottle. Sorry you didn’t like it, but again…I did and I’ll be returning for a couple more bottles during the sale.

  4. Expat

    Even though I have really gotten away from the fruit bombs this sounds like one I could still enjoy, almost a guilty pleasure. In place of a cocktail these can be enjoyable. What you said about the Victor makes sense. I really like the Victor a lot because it is no doubt a Zin but has balance and finesse.


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