2008 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel

I have been dying for some good weather so I can fire up the barbecue and do some of the things that people normally do here in Sonoma County this time of the year.  However, up until this weekend we’ve been getting soaked by the rain.  I”m starting to wonder if this is how people in Seattle feel most of the time.  Anyhow, the forecast over the Holiday weekend was outstanding, the clouds parted and the sun shined through!  I’ve been keeping up with Seghesio on twitter(@seghesio) and they keep telling me I need to have some of their Zinfandel with my BBQ, so I obliged and grabbed the only bottle offered at Safeway while I was picking up some ingredients for the BBQ.

2008 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel

So here is their 2008 Sonoma County Zinfandel

The nose: Ripe plums simmer up through a fairly hot nose, there is some spice, a touch of toasted oak/vanilla and that standard issue Jammy Zin character.

The Taste: You are greeted with a 50-50 blast of big fruit and black pepper.  When I first tried this wine the fruit was a bit over ripe or cooked however as it has opened up that seems to have faded and now is on par with the other big jam fruity Zins.

The Mouth Feel: For being such a big fruit bomb there are not enough tannins to support the wine and it comes off a touch flabby.  I would expect more structure for that much fruit.  The mid palate through finish is a bit weak.

The Color: The wine is a dark purple thinning at the edges, very clear and pretty in the glass.

The Nitty Gritty:
15.5% ABV
Barrel aged for 10 months in 75% American (20% new) and 25% French oak
89% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 3% Syrah
Average Brix at Harvest 26.8°
I paid a little over $20 and have seen it online from $20-$28

The Verdict: I’m not a big fan of the big jammy Zins so this one falls out of my favor a bit due to that, but it’s very typical of many other Zinfandels.  There are no major flaws that I could detect and it pairs nicely with the sweet, tart and spicy BBQ sauces I used.

81 Pts. or a C+/B-

Tasting Notes and Seghesio
Tasting Notes and Seghesio

Nitty Gritty reference from Seghesio’s Website http://www.seghesio.com/

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2008 Big House Red – Box Wine Breaks Out!

I haven’t had the pleasure, or displeasure, of pouring box wine since I don’t know when.  I guess when I was a waiter our red and white house wines were big boxes that were served from a bar gun, so that’s probably the last time I ever cracked open a box of wine…  But all of that aside, I’ve been reading and viewing a bunch of reviews of new higher quality “box wines,” so I have high hopes for this one.  Get out your waiter’s box cutter and let’s go!

The Nose: The nose on this wine is not quite like the bent nose of some mook just busted out of prison, it’s actually pleasing for a red blend.  Hints of berry and red cherry.  There is something reminiscent of wood and smoke, like a dried out cigar box.
The Taste: Supple fruits come out to play immediately, spicy black pepper is predominant, there may be just a touch of medicinal or band-aid (just super slight), the finish has a touch of bitterness.
The Mouth Feel: There is a touch of tannins on the front palate that fades away into the mid palate, mid to late palate is reasonably structured and the finish is long and has a nice minerality to it.
The Color: Ruby red to purple throughout, very pretty IMHO.
The Nitty Gritty:
13.5% ABV
3 Litre Box w/spigot
The blend includes:
Syrah, Petite Sirah, Granache, Montepulciano, Mouvedre, Sangiovese, Tannat, Aglianico, Nero d’Avola, Sagrantino, Barbera, and Tourigo.  I always thought Montepulciano was Sangiovese, but perhaps they sourced some juice from Montepulciano!?
I found an online retailer selling 3L for $16.99

The Verdict:
After a hiatus of drinking box wine, since I stole sips from my grandmothers cup of Franzia, I was pleasantly surprised.  This wine has character and structure comparable to a $6-$9 bottle of any other Red Table Wine, like Bob’s Spaghetti or something like that.  So for your $/yumminess ratio, this should fit the bill for any party of average Joe/Jane winedrinkers.  I believe this would make an exceptional BBQ wine, the smokey and spicy character would pair up decently with any red meat slathered in Sweet Baby Rays!

80 pts, C+ to B-

NOTE:  This wine was provided to me as a professional sample.

Addendum: 05/12

Great News!  This wine is great with spicy pepperoni pizza!  Two days after cracking the seal and still tastes the same, nice spicy character an excellent companion to leftover pizza!