Paso Robles has long been one of my favorite spots in California, especially for Zinfandel. So it should come as no surprise that I'd include quite a few Paso Robles releases in The 12 Days of Zin. Today's look at a Paso Robles Zinfandel is from a relatively new producer. The 2006 release from 5 Mile Bridge is only their second vintage of Zinfandel. The 2006 5 Mile Bridge Zinfandel is a single vineyard effort sourced from the Margarita Vineyard. This vineyard stands at an elevation of 1,000 feet, allowing excellent sun exposure. 1% Cabernet Franc was blended in with the ZInfandel. This wine was aged in a combination of French and American oak (about 1/3 of it new) for 14 months. Just over 2,900 cases of this releases were produced. The suggested retail price for this wine is $20.
Bright red raspberry, cedar and vanilla fill the nose of this Zinfandel. 30 minutes in a decanter, or a glass, really allows this wine to open up. Blueberry and raspberry fill the wines plate along with white pepper notes. From the mid-palate through the finish, stewed fruit notes linger along with additional spice elements such as nutmeg and a hint of earth. I had this with a porcini mushroom pizza and found it to be excellent accompaniment.
The most impressive thing about this particular Zinfandel is its harmony and balance. Each element is well in check of the other providing an overall enjoyable drinking experience. That's particularly noteworthy for a wine that's only in its second vintage. Also of note is the alcohol at 14.2%. This is on the modest side not just for Zin in general but also for Paso Robles. I look forward to seeing what 5 Mile Bridge produces going forward.
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