04 California Zin - How's It Hangin'?
How are everyone's 04 zins doing? I pulled a bunch from my cellar recently - Rosenblum Eagle Point, Klinker Brick Old Ghost, Bucklin Old Hill Ranch, Saxon Brown Parmelee-Hill, Biale Monte Rosso, Bella Big River Ranch, and Nalle Reserve. Thus far, the Rosenblum was still extremely youthful and could've gone much longer, while the Bucklin was showing magnificently deep roundness and richness, and I am thinking of pulling my others from the cellar just because it was so good! The Old Ghost was delicious, but was definitely a "drink right away" as the fruit was just beginning to fade and I didn't detect many secondary flavors underneath it... I'll be drinking the other 5 in the next couple of weeks. Thoughts? Any other experiences?
Mine don't seem to have lasted long enough for me to tell - I've only got a couple bottles of '04 still around and am mostly on '05s now. I had an '04 Hartford Fanucchi-Road recently which was drinking very nicely.
While I generally like to hold zins for about 6 months after release to let them settle down some, I've not really found them to improve much over time. I've held some for as much as 5 years after release and while for the most part they remain perfectly good, I can't say they're much better than when they started. Longest I've let one go is a 1997 Turley Dogtown Zin which I drank early this year, here's my notes ->
"Nose is still bright and lively, with zingy raspberry and blackberry and spice. Very rounded flavors, with pure follow-through on the ripe berry notes, some spice and brier, but the mid-palate seemed a bit hollow."
As a result I generally happily drink my zins without any pangs of guilt over infanticide.
Excellent notes, and thank you! Funny that, up until now, I never let my Turley zins even go 6 months for fear that they would burn up in the bottle!
I do age some zinfandels and zin blends - we recently had a 1991 Ridge Geyserville that was out of this world. It was at the house of a friend who ages lots of Zins that I began an experiment - buy 3 of each of my favorite zins, and start pulling them 2 years later. Hence, these 04s... and I'm learning which ones age horribly (get worse), age gracefully (stay the same/slow decline), and age wonderfully (actually improve)... I'm finding representations of all 3 so far! :) Will keep you posted!