Recently I have fallen a bit out of love with the great American grape Zinfandel. I had a string of Zins that just didn’t have a whole lot going on and began to doubt the whole varietal. I’m happy to report that some recent experiences have “saved me.” One of our recent stops in Sonoma was at a small winery called Porter Creek tucked away on a corner of the mythical Westside Road. It is a beautiful property and the staff are great but, of course, the proof is in the bottle. Friday night is homemade pizza night and I am always looking for an interesting pairing so I decided to open one from our trip. It is the 2008 Porter Creek Sonoma County Zinfandel and says Old Vine on the label. I can’t quite remember what the age of the vines were but I am definitely fond of older vines. I would be remiss not to mention that they also add 10% Carignane to the mix.
On the nose I smell a lot of red fruit, including, raspberries, cherries and strawberries but also a hint of cinnamon. The taste on the palate is pretty darn explosive starting with cranberry and leading into bitter chocolate before transition to mineral and, to me anyway, dirt. It is a pretty darn long finish for zin. For the $34 price I would say pretty good juice though not an every night wine. It worked well with the pizza though I think burgers would be even better!