Cosentino - The Zin 2004 - Sonoma County

Amongst the 30 or so different wines each year, Cosentino Winery makes two distinct Zinfandel's, CigarZin and The Zin. Both of those are generally sourced primarily in the CosentinoLodi area of California. Year in and year out these wines represent the largest case productions in the Cosentino portfolio. Some years they make additional smaller lots of other Zinfandel's. These are occasionally reserves or vineyard designates. In 2004 they made second lot under the label "The Zin." Instead of being from Lodi this smaller production was produced from Sonoma County fruit and labelled as such. Stylistically this wine seems to fall almost exactly between CigarZin and the Lodi sourced production of The Zin. Whereas CigarZin is full of jammy fruit that bursts out of the glass immediately, The Zin (Lodi) is far more austere and reserved at first. It takes longer to open up and reveal itself. When it does there are copious amounts of berry and pepper notes on the mid palate. Consequently The Zin traditionally lives longer in bottle and tends to benefit from laying down for a couple of years.

The Zin (Sonoma County) hits you with dark berry flavor immediately but is still more restrained than CigarZin. A couple of hours after opening it was really singing. The dark berry component as well as significant spice were both present on the mid palate. The finish lasts a noticeably long time and is filled with more berry and white pepper as well as some earthiness.  This zinfandel is well balanced with good acidity. There is no noticeable heat from the alcohol which can be a problem with some Zinfandel's made in a big and bold style.

Since 1980 Mitch Cosentino has been putting out wines of distinction. Zinfandel, while a large percentage of their production is a drop in the bucket varietal wise when you consider how many different wines they make each year. Between the Crystal Valley Cellars imprint, CE2V and the flagship Cosentino branded wines they also make wines in a wide breadth of price ranges. At every level they succeed in making an interesting product that is distinct but recognizable as a Cosentino wine.  If you see Mitch Cosentino's name on it, it's well worth your time and money to drink.