Price: $6.99 @ Trader Joe’s
What They Said:
Per Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer “Inviting – like a warm hug with the right amount of squeeze. Juicy cherries and warm, sweet cloves harmonize with soft French oak. The finish holds on just long enough.”
Subsequent searches turn up numerous reports of bankruptcy at Fife Vineyards. The note of interest to me here is that these articles are dated circa 2006 and this wine is labeled ’07. That leaves a nagging question I can’t answer. Did the previous management bottle these wines and unload them? Or did someone buy the label? This latter scenario becomes particular interesting as for the life of me I can’t find any reference to a previous vintage of Fife Sonoma Zin. If anyone out there has info please pass it along…
What I Think:
First a few bits of insider information from the Encintas Trader Joe’s Food and Wine Blog (check’em out if you haven’t yet). They were able to track down some facts on this one that I couldn’t track down on my own. The first being that the suggested retail on this one was $28.99. The 2nd being that this is a blend of 91% Zinfandel and 9% Carignane. I need to get looped into these sources!
So what’s in the bottle? You are greeted with hot, cherry cedar notes on the nose. The initial palate shows dried herb and cherry flavors. The mid-palate is juicy and at points slightly sour. Throughout the palate is subdued and forced to the background as velvety, warm, oaky notes constantly push them self to the fore. This isn’t a bad thing; it is a pleasing warm with spice box notes on the edge. This one doesn’t offer much complexity but other than that nothing bad to say. A straightforward wine, what you see is what you get. Few will be disappointed; a nice match for spicy chili. I’m not rushing to buy more but thinking it has a pretty good chance of ending up on my table again. Perhaps I’ll try the Cuvee first…
Rating: 12th Bottle