Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month – 2007 Brown Estate Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month is a new feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. For a little background please see the first installment published a month ago. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The November Zinfandel of the Month is the 2007 Brown Estate.

In 1980, The Brown Family acquired land in the hills east of Rutherford in the Napa Valley. In 1995 they decided to make wine under their own label. The following year the first vintage of Zinfandel was produced and subsequently they have added Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Petite Sirah to their lineup. First and foremost, Brown Estate is known for their exceptional array of Zinfandels.

Brown Zinfandel is near and dear to me. I’ve had all the Estate Zinfandels from the 1997 vintage forward, and we served the ’99 Zinfandel at our rehearsal dinner at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn in 2000.

Deep purple in color. 15.4% ABV. Beautiful nose of sweet red fruits and a hint of pepper. Raspberry compote, cloves, strawberry jam, pepper and black licorice on the palate. Rich, lush and slightly jammy. Medium bodied, light acidity and a sweet finish. Resolved tannins. Everything you want in a bottle of Zinfandel. Probably best over the next 1-2 years.

My rating: 92 points.

Brown Estate makes Zinfandel that truly has very few peers in California. It should be included in the conversation with the likes of Turley, Carlisle and Ridge. The wine can be found at retail and at the winery. Seriously consider signing up for the mailing list. The 2012 version will be released this Winter for right around $45 and is a wine I will certainly buy for my cellar.

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