Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma County, CA; 15.6% ABV
$7 at the Richmond, CA, store on 17 July
This wine is heavy, ripe, jammy, and alcoholic from the beginning, but the flavors darken and become a little more complex with a couple hours in a decanter. It starts out redder and sweeter, but slowly makes a transition into flavors of black raspberry, blackberry / tar / black pepper, and vanilla. After a few hours open, the redder and darker flavors all come forth together, becoming a pretty tasty Zin. While this wine is hardly the most nuanced, the Zinfandel flavors are more genuine than in many GO Zins. For my personal taste, I find the alcoholic heft of it a bit much, but I can see how it would have its fans among those who like a bruiser of a wine.
However, the saved, single-glass, screw-cap bottle was really very good. All the flavors which, on the first night were separate points of flavor, were nicely integrated into a smooth whole, with a coffee note I hadn’t previously noticed. The strong alcohol was also much less noticeable. From the first night, this was going to be “Drinkable,” but the second-day performance convinced me to move it to Thumbs Up.