Old World Winery Zinfandel Russian River Valley Laughlin Vineyard 2005
The 2010 release of the 2005 Laughlin Zinfandel comes at a time when a lot of other '05 Zins have already lost their zip. This one is fresh as a daisy, though it's potency is anything but daisy-like. While dry and possessing nearly a percent more alcohol than the '04, the '05 Laughlin has an aromatic profile quite reminiscent of the port-like '04, which was made in a sweet, late-harvest style. The '05 displays concentrated black cherry, black raspberry, prune, and super-ripe fig fruit on top of a deep, dark core of earthy chocolate, espresso, and subtle oaky spiciness. There is a bit of heat from the alcohol, but the texture is mouth-filling and the finish long and rich. A muscular, charmingly idiosyncratic Zin from a great vineyard.
Completely different in style from previous OWW Laughlin Vineyard Zinfandels, the 2004 could be slipped into a blind port tasting and not be out of place. It's absolutely a late-harvest-style Zin, with a lovely, rich port-like nose of prunes, plums, deep dark cherry, and spice. Very sweet in the mouth - a wine for dessert or cheese, not steak or pasta. Rich and well-made, reminiscent of some of the old Ridge Late-Picked Zins. We're not normally late-harvest Zin fans, but this one, served in the right circumstances, is absolutely delicious. (Price estimated.)
(Review of August 2007.) This is my favorite Laughlin Zin to date. To me it has a lot in common with a top-notch Cotes du Rhone, except one on steroids. Dark berries, new leather, roasted herbs, earth in the nose; in the mouth it came across as a blend of liqueurs - kirsch, plum, currants. Still a little raw and unruly (though made to order for a slab of beef), I'm looking forward to trying this one multiple times over the next 5 years or so.
The wine I drank during "Hurricane Irene" - Deep dark concentrated nose, purple plums, black currants, bit of spice. The palate coarses with dark fruit as well - plums, blackberries, currants and some bramble, an underlying earthiness as well. big, bold, full bodied and well balanced
(Tasting of 2-29-08.) This wine has filled out and developed nicely since our original tasting three years ago, and seems significantly more balanced, flavorful, and pleasurable than it did then. Complex nose displays ripe bing cherry and red currant fruit accompanied by Rhone-like notes of cedar and leather. Rich in the mouth, though with a higher-acid, more restrained feel and a higher level of earthy/woody tones compared to some of the Old World fruitbombs. (Review of 4-16-2005.) Earthy, leafy cherry fruit. Good spiciness along with herbal elements and an elevated acidity, similar to some Topolos Zins we've had in the past. A Zin still in its developmental stage, but at this point not as fruity and accesssible as we're accustomed to with OWW Zins.
Just enjoyed the 2002 Russian Rivery Valley Zinfandel tonight...fantastic! In fact, we have a friend from France in town visiting (he's in the wine business back home) and he liked it so much that he is ordering some for home. Yes, it is a little big, but it paired excellently with our ribeye, mashed potatoes and grilled greenbeans. Tasted cherry, red currant and a slight hint of blackberry. Our friend commented that he tasted cedar, earth and wood, similar to ready Rhone. I got those notes and a small hint of vanilla. None of us tasted a high acid level, but again, by having a heavy meal, that may have helped out.
(Review of April 2004.) It's essential to have a toothbrush handy after drinking this wine as it definitely has tooth-staining density. This is a heavy-duty wine with an extremely chewy texture and a boatload of chalky tannin, like a big young Petite Sirah. Excellent nose and flavors of spicy black raspberry, licorice and milk chocolate. If the tannin ever resolves itself, I will have been stingy with this rating (88).