(Best wine I have had in a long time!!!)
If you have never gone wine tasting with a dixie cup, I HIGHLY recommend that you try it. You can taste sooooo many different wines and still be able to really pick out good and bad by the end of the day! I found my favorite wine yesterday at Karmère. Unbelieveable. It's a zinfandel. It truly had all the best characteristics of several different wines. It was jammy and floral in the nose. The flavor span was so complex though! It was more than berries, it was richer than that...it moved into chocolate and caramel territory, but it was not too smoky...it was just so balanced. Not too acidic, not too basic. Just right!!
The only thing about the wine that was "negative" and now I am being nit picky, is that had a little too much tannin in the back, but some people really like that. Luckily, that's something that fades with age. So, if I did buy some, I would shelve it for a couple months to a year. Hell, I bet if you drank it now and just let it sit in a decanter for about six hours, that would be enough time to let it air out. A couple glasses of that and some artisan bread (il fornaio yah!)...Heaven.
The details: It's called the Empress Hayley 2004 Zinfandel. It's $14 a bottle. It didn't buy any yesterday, but I am really thinking about getting six bottles. The reason I didn't buy any yesterday is because I have about 18-20 bottles of wine here already (left from my website trade I did). And I hardly ever drink alone. I haven't even tried the Mankas Hills yet. But I swear... I am ready to make a purchase. It was THAT good. Just like finding the perfect dress or shoes. YUM!
I really LOVED that wine. I was glad that we were at the next to last winery we were visiting for the day, because as soon as I tasted this wine, I drank my second tasting instead of spitting or dumping it. And, THAT, is truly the point. Unless you like wine tasting because you get sloshed anyway, it's important to STAY SOBER the whole time so you can truly TASTE and SMELL the differences. You can truly begin to see what is garbage and what is not, even if you're not an expert. Of course what is garbage varies from person to person, but you'll be able to tell obvious differences from wine to wine if you aren't just guzzling it all down.
We hit Story Vineyards last. My all time favorite winery because of the staff and because of the view (not to mention the super wine). There were some amazing things going on in their barrels already. Stuff that was barreled THREE days ago (both their picnic hill and old vine zinfandel harvest)!! Can you believe that? Wine that should taste like juice/cider was incredibly comparable to some wines I have had that have been aged and then bottled a few years. So, when it IS ready...wow...