Michael David Winery Earthquake Zinfandel 2010
By Christian Eedes, 5 March 2012
If you’re going to call your wine “Earthquake”, then not much point making something too subtle. Earthquake Zin from Michael David Winery in Lodi, California is so called as grapes come from a vineyard planted around the time of San Francisco’s great earthquake in 1906. As the name suggests, it won’t leave you unmoved – a gigantic, rich and powerful wine (abv 16%) but somehow very satisfying.
Blaauwklippen winemaker Rolf Zeitvogel launched his Zinfandel Reserve 2009 at R289 a bottle on Friday by putting it up against five top Californian examples, the exercise proving 1) that his version is just about as smart as Zin gets ; and 2) don’t ever expect Zin to be “elegant”. Exotic, big and bold, yes, but not elegant.
Tasting notes and scores for the six wines as follows:
1. Terra d’Oro Deaver 100 Year Old Vines 2008 ($30)
Dark fruit, some floral fragrance and liquorice on the nose. Juicy and pure fruited, bright acidity, relatively fine tannins. Fine but rather safe styling. Score: 16.5/20
2.= Blaauwklippen Reserve 2009
Cedar wood and pencil shavings on the nose. Dark fruit, bright acidity – sweet and intense. Bright acidity and prominent but not unattractive oak. Full but balanced. Very dry finish. Score: 16/20
2.= Michael David Winery Earthquake Zinfandel 2010 ($26)
Includes small portion Petite Syrah. Dark fruit and vanilla on the nose and palate. Hugely concentrated with moderate acidity. Alcohol well integrated; finish long and savoury. A rock ‘n roll sort of wine. Score: 16/20.
4. Talty Vineyards Dry Creek Valley 2008 ($38)
7% Petite Syrah, 3% Carignan. Red fruit on the nose and palate. Slight baked quality. Some developed character. Bright, slightly sour acidity. Relatively medium bodied and somewhat rough hewn. Score: 15.5/20
5. Rosenblum Cellars Annette’s Reserve 2009 ($35)
11% Carignan, 11% Petite Syrah. Red and black cherry fruit on the nose and palate. Savoury edge. Concentrated but somewhat plain, lacking detail. Score: 15/20
6. Robert Biale Vineyards Monte Rosso 2009 ($50)
Heady on the nose. Jammy fruit, soft tannins. Sweet, rich and full. Hot finish. Totally overwhelming. Score: 14/20