What They Said:
Per Opici Wines “The aromas are classic of an old vine Zinfandel: spicy and jammy. Notes of black pepper, raspberry, and boysenberry lead to hints of cinnamon, sandalwood, and clove to create the bouquet. On the palate, the wine carries over the spicy notes, as well as black cherry and cassis flavors. The oak-aging gives it a supple and velvety texture. Fruit-forward with balanced acidity and alcohol.”
What I Think:
From what I have been told this wine came to be when wine industry legend Hubert Opici woke up on his 91st birthday and decided to make a wine similar to what the family made at the old (now defunct) Opici Winery in Cucamonga — an easy drinking, affordable, everyday red wine made principally from Zinfandel grapes. Sounds like a good story. My first thought was who is Hubert Opici? Quite an interesting and well respected man I’ve since learned (see bottom of this post). And my second thought was Cucamonga as in Rancho? Southern California? And it is true that once upon a time they were indeed making wine in this area. Stories aside they don’t matter unless the wine is good. Did this one deliver? Here’s my notes…
(14%) 82% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah, 3% Syrah – The nose here is near perfect Zinfandel with nice dark fruit, spice and barrel notes. This one is juicy and smooth with nice ripe berry (raspberry and boysenberry) fruit on the palate. From there a nice black pepper spicy component emerges on the mid-palate. This is a big wine but maintains a semblance of balance between the fruit, acidity and alcohol. The finish brings a full plethora of barrel flavors; oak, creaminess and vanilla, that linger on with nice tingly tannins.
Now I don’t know about you but for me the days of drinking a truly enjoyable Zinfandel for $10 are long gone. There are plenty of big jammy fruit bomb available in this price range but I prefer something much more balanced. Given the $11 this one is likely to cost you at retail it is well worth the price of entry. If you find it be sure to let me know what you think…
Rating: Buy It
Interested in learning more about Hubert Opici?
- The Italian Trade Commission honors Hubert Opici with a Distinguished Service Award at Vino 2009
- Wine Library TV airs episode #725: Talking About the Wine Industry with Legend Hubert Opici
*this wine was received as press sample