Coming back to the fold, and a second review of Reserve Lot 11

So after years away, I’ve been asked by BargainWhine if I’d like to come back and help him shoulder some of the burden of drinking all of this wine and saying a few things about it.  Since I’ve come back to the great Pacific NW, I moved into a house less than a mile from our local GO.  That left me with few (good) excuses, so here I am.  Amazing what lim13 and BargainWhine have done with the place!  Without any further grandstanding I’ll just continue on to a wine that has already been reviewed, screwing up the format of commenting on previously reviewed bottles right off the bat.  Be gentle with me, I haven’t written tasting notes in years…

Walking into me local store, I went right back to my old habits of judging a book by its cover (or a wine by its package.)  The Reserve Lot 11 struck me as a handsome, heavyweight bottle with a label that didn’t scream “I can be a winery owner, winemaker and graphic designer if I want, how hard can it be?”  Seems like many of the offerings in my local store (Bend, OR) didn’t match those criteria, so I was left a fairly easy choice of what I was bringing home.  Helps that the wife was making chili, as I couldn’t imagine a better pairing than a fruit-bomb zin.  Consulting my phone, I saw that lim13 had previously reviewed this bottle, and his notes sounded like the wine would do the job nicely.

After opening the bottle I was happy to see a composite cork closing the wine.  Seems like I have found more than my fair share of corked bottles in GO over the years, and composite is often a safe bet thanks to the handling procedures in its production.  The wine pours a deep garnet color, but very clear as is pretty indicative of zinfandel.  Cherry cough syrup, black licorice and mint dominate the nose.  After an hour or so of breathing, the harshness of the cough syrup mellows back into more cooked cherries and blackberries.  Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but the alcohol helps buoy it back toward pleasant.  Young berry fruit up front gives way to chocolatey tannins in the finish with a bit more astringence than I’m typically looking for.  You can definitely get a metallic hit in the aftertaste that I see in many zins, high alcohol or not.  There is also the berry sweetness of good chocolate hanging around the finish, helping you go back to the glass and start the process over.

All that said, the review boils down to one thing: Would I buy it again?  And the answer is yes.  I think there’s enough depth in this that it more than justifies the $8 or so that I spent on it.  Let me know if you think I’m way off base, and I’ll probably also comment  later on how it went with dinner, or if it improves (or crashes into mediocrity) after being open for a few hours.


9 thoughts on “Coming back to the fold, and a second review of Reserve Lot 11

  1. EHL

    So…the seminal seed returns…very entertaining and interesting review and I look forward to your thoughts and musing in the future on that aphrodisiac we all love…

  2. dluber

    Welcome back fearless leader! I shared a bottle of this with friends last nite and we all liked it reasonably well. A respectable Zin in a somewhat over-ripe style, not going back for more but wouldn’t be embarrassed to take it to dinner. For the same price, I prefer the more elegant and balanced Benessere Black Glass that BW just reviewed.

  3. flitcraft

    Wow, the legendary grossoutwine is back in the house! Welcome back, come and set a spell. We’ve kept a chair by the fire for you…

  4. Seedboy

    Welcome back.
    I think this wine is still around California too, it came in for the fall sale. One of the stores poured me a taste then. I thought it placed about fifth among the zins then available (the Victor, which I still see some, included) and did not buy any of it.

  5. Doug

    Hi! and yes…Welcome Back. It would be very helpful if you would state which state you bought the wine in. California and and Oregon GO’s have different distribution regulations and “covenants” with with the vinyards about which wines can be distributed where. So sayeth the GO manager in Medford, OR. Nice review, BTW.

    1. grossoutwine Post author

      Hi Doug! I did mention the store (Bend, OR) it was just buried in the post a bit. Is Medford your local store? That is where I started this blog, and I can vouch for the wine buyer at that store, as it seems to always have a very good selection.


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