Good birthday party for a wine drinking friend yesterday evening. There were two very nice wines. Knowing the honoree likes big wines my contribution to the party was a 2005 Mazzocco Vineyards, Home Ranch Vineyard Zinfandel with a total production of 400 cases. It checked in at 15.1% alcohol.
There was solid peppery berry fruit in the nose with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon. A dense core of blackberries was foremost in the taste. There was depth to the taste, but not too much. There was good acid, some prickly tannin and a tremendous balance that totally masked its high alcoholic content. There is a lightness and freshness to Dry Creek Zinfandels and that carried through in this wine. It was not overbearing nor was it overly jammy. It was flat out delicious.
The second wine was a 2002 Beaulieu Georges de Latour Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa. The nose was like sticking your head in a barrel, it was overt and unapologetic smell of oak and little else. It took a few minutes but some dense, dark plum fruit began to show itself. The plums were there in the taste along with dark cherries. The structure on this wine was huge, big deep flavors of fruit, good acid and wave after wave of oak. After an hour it was still like licking a tree. There's a chance that this wine will settle down after a few more years in the bottle, but it just seemed over oaked to me. It needs a hearty beef stew with strong flavors and not summer picnic fare from the grill.