The first stop today during the 12 Days of Zin is Paso Robles. As I've mentioned in the past I feel Zinfandel is one of the varietals that tends to really thrive in the Paso Robles area. With a couple of exceptions Zins from this area that have most impressed my tend towards the bigger, jammy style. Gary Eberle who founded the namesake winery has a history of wine-making in the region that precedes it even being an officially recognized appellation. Their broad array of offerings include Rhone and Bordeaux varietals as well as several other wines such as Zinfandel that aren't part of either classification. The 2006 Eberle Winery Zinfandel was made with fruit sourced from both the Steinbeck and Wine Bush vineyards. The split was an even 50/50. This wine spent 16 months aging in 20% new American oak. Just over 2,800 cases of this wine were produced and the suggested retail price for this wine is $24.
The first thing that is apparent about the Eberle Zinfandel is that it needs to breathe. Before decanting it didn't really give much. After having had the chance to get some air it really started to shine. Plum, blueberry, and black raspberry all come out in the nose. From the entry point through the mid-palate there is plenty of medium bright fruit accompanied by a sour cherry undertone that gives this offering a very unique and appealling edge. Blackberry pie spice, as well as white pepper and earth make up the lingering finish. This wine will be an excellent match for almost any type of BBQ. I had it with slow cooked, pulled pork and it worked marvelously. A nice little value.
This wine shares elements of both big jam laden Zins as well as those made in a more restrained style. It has a fine acidity that helps balance it. For maximum pleasure I recommend drinking this one over the next 2-4 years.
Up Next: The 12 Days of Zin Continues!
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