Before jumping in, if you need a refresher on the rules you can find a recap here. The main one two keep in mind here, per the picture above, that these were tasted blind. Well single blind for those that want to get particular. Before these wines were opened here were my preconceived notions of each:
- Rosenblum: I’m a long time member of the Rosenblum wine club. At Trader Joe’s this one was proudly sporting a hand written tag that said Wine Spectator scored it 83 points. I’ve since learned (from @robertdwyer) that the score belonged to the ’05 version of this one. One other thing on the Rosenblum. Perhaps they should be immediately disqualified for their “enter birthday” gateway on their website (which you may have already met if you clicked above). How stupid can you be?
- Old Moon: I had tried this one previously and was on the fence. @tlmorgon is a big fan so it made the selection. Cruising around the web I got the sense that the ’05 was much better than the ’06 in many peoples opinion.
With that squared away let’s get to tipoff. For that let’s take a peek over to my twitter feed to get the play by play:
2006 Old Moon Old Vine Zinfandel ($5): This one started off “plonkish”. Closed nose coming through super hot. Seemed like just another wine early on and left me wondering when the “35-70 year old vines” mentioned on the bottle were going to express themselves. Initially it seemed to be trying hard to be something it was not. After 45 minutes or so the heat blew off and the wine improved. Still everything here is muted, some pepper, some dark fruit and a unbalanced finish. Perhaps the Vinturi would have helped here, thoughts Bob? At the end of day I felt it was unfortunate that they buried these “old vines” under all that winemaking. Rating: 12th bottle
2006 Rosenblum Paso Robles Zinfandel ($16): The difference between these two was readily apparent on the nose with the Rosenblum being much more aromatic showing robust dark fruit and floral notes. On the palate you get rich fruit and oak notes with blackberry shining through on top of a dry, chalky backbone. The finish was intially slightly tart and a bit hot but improved with time to leave a warm, comforting tannic tickle lingering. That said, it makes me nervous for this one come the second round. It better bring its “A game” then. Rating: Pricey