A Sneak Peek at ZAP Festival Zinfandels, January 2011
Paso Robles has emerged over the past few years as one of the great under-appreciated wine-producing regions in California. There are multiple expressions of Zinfandel coming from Paso, each blessed with some of the moderating ocean breezes that help this central valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) counter the heat. The soils here are rocky and lean, with great limestone outcroppings, producing wines that are frequently richly fruited with peppery notes and lovely herbal top notes.
2008 Sextant Paso Robles Zinfandel Holystone, 15.4%
At first, this is showing a slightly over-ripe pruney, gamy note on the nose with plummy undertones and plenty of peppery spice and toasty oak. With time, this takes on a decidedly Syrah-like element with a violet underlay. This gains a creamy, cafe au lait top note with air. Nicely balanced with lots of fruit on the palate that shows good complexity. This is rich and fruity and decidedly ripe, though with plenty of acidity keeping it fresh in the mouth. The fruit has dried plum elements accenting the black cherry fruit, all underpinned by toasty, chocolaty oak. Lots of boysenberry character emerges on the backend and adds complexity to the moderately long finish. Big, bold and well balanced, this has more oak than I might like, but is certainly well put together. 90pts ... Read Full Article