2004 Santino Sierra Foothills Zinfandel

2004 Santino Sierra Foothills ZinfandelPrice: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per No Merlot on the ’03 “The Santino Zin is sturdy and full of rich raspberries and blackberries, plums, and spice aromas. The mouth is flush with berry fruit that hook up with almonds, cinnamon and pepper that finishes with slight tartness but shows some sense of harmonic convergence. Nice Zin for the price. Matches well with spicy and hearty foods.” (editors note: they also give great back story on how Santino became part of Renwood)

What I Think:

Per my database here this is my fourth bottle of the Santino Zin and I have yet to post, shame on me. Why not? Let’s blame it on research. The Santino site only mentions the ’06, so I emailed them to check in on the ’04. Never heard back. Then, from the above, I learned of the internal dysfunction that led to Santino becoming part of Renwood, a very well respected winery from the region. Regardless Matt Kramer of the Wine Spectator had this to say of the winery in his recent book ”One of the leading wineries in the Sierra Foothills.” Couple all of this with my curiosity of the region, they grow a ton of off the beaten path grapes (Italian mostly) and people whose opinion I respect such as Megan, of Wine Clubbie being such huge fans of the area, and I have been thrilled to see this time and time again as I visit Trader Joe’s…

On to the main event. This wine is simple but a winner. On the nose a mix of red fruit and wood. In the mouth you get dark forward fruit with a dry, tannic herbal mid-palate (think sage) that leads to a slightly sour note reminiscent of raspberries. The finish is chewy, lingering and peppery. This wine falls in line with what I think of as typical from this region; particularly the finish. All in all, well balanced and worth the money. Another wine that fits this profile is the TJ’s Growers Reserve Zin. Same price, just as nice; but fruitier…

As for the Santino, I am going to get some more. After I do so everyone else should feel free to do the same.

Rating: Buy It