2006 Laurel Ridge Zinotage
I picked up 5 bottles of the Zinotage ($19) from the Laurel Ridge Winery last year during a visit to Oregon’s Willamette Valley the weekend after Thanksgiving. As I dug through the cellar and found this, I was really wondering why I bought it. I’m not a big fan of blending Zinfandel with other varietals. On my last trip to Napa, I tasted some Zin blends at one of the wineries we visited and they were probably the worst wines of the trip. Blending the Zin only managed to take away all the best characteristics of the Zin and those of the other varietals as well. I already had a couple people question the reasoning for blending a Zin with a Pinot and I can’t really explain it, but it sorta works.
The 2006 Laurel Ridge Zinotage is a somewhat pretty wine, but not very distinctive. It has a clear garnet color and a very berry and dark cherry nose. On the palate there is a lot of black fruit and just a touch of spice. The medium length finish is somewhat steely with some mineral. With 13.7% alcohol, it’s fairly smooth and easy to drink with very soft tannins and minimal acidity, but it’s a little austere and doesn’t really excite my palette. I believe I’ll stick with my original thought: I’m not a big fan of blending Zin with other varietals. I suppose I can always bring the other bottles to family functions and parties. Who knows, someone else may like it.