Val Moon 2010 Zinfandel

Sonoma County, CA; 14.5% ABV
$7 at the Richmond, CA, store on 26 Nov

ValMoon_2010_ZinI bought this bottle for the nicely complex color of the wine through the bottle.  At first, the wine justified my guess.  The color in my glass was also a nice purplish dark red and the nose was moderately complex, with some darker fruit amid the redder fruit.  However, the first taste displayed not only jammy, purplish dark red cherry, and black raspberry, but also a good bit of the “cooked rhubarb” taste I associate with American oak and that I can’t stand.  Although the fruit darkened nicely over about 45 minutes in a decanter to include some redder blackberry, and the rhubarb taste at times receded into the background, it never became really tasty to me.  I acknowledge this is a pet peeve of mine, one that most readers here probably don’t share, and for all those folks, I would probably give this a Thumbs Up.  It’s a reasonably complex and balanced wine that tastes like a Zin should.  If you liked the Woodenhead Zin, try this one. I think the Val Moon is better for the same price.  I just wish they had used different oak or even no oak.


2 thoughts on “Val Moon 2010 Zinfandel

  1. Darrell

    BW, I think you should explain the use of red and black/dark fruit because when using “redder blackberry” in describing the wine, my mouth salivated thinking about the tartness of that unripe berry. Going to have to think “cooked rhubarb” when I taste the Woodenhead Zin. I tend to think extra vanillin in association with American oak.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Darrell. By “redder blackberry,” I guess I do mean a blackberry that’s ripe, or maybe just ripe. I don’t mean exceptionally tart, just not all the way to the blackness of a really ripe one. I agree that “extra vanillin” is a good description of the American oak flavor to which I object. I’ll use it more, now, although I suspect it’s another flavor that won’t mean much to most of our readers. However, there is also a red flavor in there as well, which “cooked rhubarb” (even though I like actual rhubarb) is the best I have come up with to describe. I’ll be interested to read your reaction to the Woodenhead Zin.


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