The third day of The 12 Days of Zin marks another stop at a winery in the Dry Creek Valley. 2008 marks 10 years since the first vintage of Papapietro Perry. Interestingly they specialize in both Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. Each is a red grape made in an incredibly wide array of styles. Both happen to be favorite varietals of mine and I tend to cover examples of each whenever I have the opportunity. Whereas with Pinot Noir I'm strongly in favor of those made in a classic Burgundian style, I'm much more open to more divergent styles of Zin. The Papapietro Perry 2005 Pauline's Vineyard Zinfandel is 100% single vineyard varietal. It was aged for 13 months in a combination of 2 and 3 year old French Oak. 390 cases of this wine were produced and it retails for $36.
Decanting this wine is highly recommended. At first blush, out of bottle it's closed up and tight. Once it opens though it tells a far more expressive story. Red raspberry and earthy bramble fill the nose along with subtler but present blueberry notes. While the nose has jam aspects the palate rides the line. All the berry fruit is kept in check by fine acidity and a solid tannic structure. Dark plum notes emerge at the back end of the mid-palate, leading the way to the finish. Vanilla, nutmeg, white pepper and dust notes fill the lingering finish. That dust leaves the final impression and is an indicator of it's Dry Creek heritage. This wine will be a nice match for pepper steak, london broil or a burger topped with strong cheese.
What I like best about this Zinfandel is it's impressive structure and clear ability to age. This should improve over the next year or so and drink well for a minimum of 5 years after that, likely longer. While $36 may not be a wine you have every night with a burger, not every Zin will improve with age, not to mention impress with it's balance and overall finesse.
Up Next: The 12 Days of Zin Continues
Check out ZAP The Group dedicated to Zinfandel.
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