The Bold and The Mysterious – Four Vines Zin and Purple Cryptic

I hope the title caught your attention! We are back into some online tastings now. Our first one is “The Bold and The Mysterious” with Charles Communications on their new BrandLive channel and featured three Zinfandels from Four Vines Winery Appellation Series and the newest release from Purple Wine Company – Cryptic. The Four Vines Appellation series is real interesting, same varietal, same wine maker, different terroir. Purple Company owns several brands including Four Vines and that is why the Cryptic is included in this tasting.

Online with us during the tasting was Lisa Ehrlich, VP of Marketing for the Purple Wine Company and winemaker Britt Moore. These online tastings are great fun, talking with the winemaker while you taste their wines.

After the introductions we started with tasting each of the wines. Since these are all Zinfandels or Zinfandel blends made by the same winemaker they should have a lot of similarities. The differences of course will be terroir, what was blended in and how much oak they have seen but overall they should taste like a Zin.

2009 Four Vines Winery Paso Robles Zinfandel – Biker
Four Vines Zinfandel - Biker
This wine was made from grapes from the Dante Dusi and Preston Zin Vineyards on the rocky west side hills of Paso Robles. A slight amount of Mourvedre was added for a little mid-palate kick.

This wine was a dark ruby color as you would expect. The nose was dark fruit, blue berries and some earthiness. The same with the flavors, dark fruit, earthy, moderate tannins and good acid. Lots of flavor but not jammy as some Zin’s are. Pleasant to drink with a little heat from the 14.8% alcohol level. Medium to long finish.

2009 Four Vines Winery Sonoma County Zinfandel – The SophisticateFour Vines Zinfandel - Sophisticate
From the 85 year old Old Crow Vineyard in The Russian River Valley with a little Petite Sirah added, “The Sophisticate” was aged in small French and American barrels for fourteen months. It was nicknamed “The Sophisticate” as it expresses the elegant side of Zinfandel.

“The Sophisticate” has a nice dark purple color and a big nose of dark fruit and a scent I can never describe but just says “Zin” to me. Ripe but not overripe dark fruit flavor with a little vanilla. Smooth moderate tannins and good acidity. Just a little heat in the background from the 14.8% alcohol level but not objectionable. There were four of us tasting locally in addition to the other bloggers online and this was our favorite.

2010 Four Vines Winery Amador County Zinfandel – The MaverickFour Vines Zinfandel - Maverick
The grapes for this wine came from old vine, dry farmed in the Shenandoah Valley. There were grapes from the 100 year old Grandpere Vineyard and the 40 year old Deaver and Linstead Vineyards. Then a little Syrah was added from the Bailey Vineyard.

The moment I smelled this wine I knew it was an Amador County Zin, they have a distinctive dusty component that goes along with the blackberry aromas. There were moderate chalky tannins and good acidity along with blackberry and dust flavors. In addition, that characteristic burst of black pepper was present. There was also a nice long flavorful finish (14.8% abv.).

2010 Purple Wine Company – Cryptic2010 Purple Wine Company Cryptic
This is truly a wine from all over California and a cross section of Varietals. The blend consists of 44% Zinfandel, 24% Petite Sirah, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% other red varietals. The grapes were sourced 29% from Paso Robles, 26% Amador County, 24% Lodi and 21% North and Central Coasts. With the blend and the different geographical areas covered we were quite keen on trying this wine. It was all I could do to wait for the tasting to start. The wines were vinified and aged separately for the most flexibility in blending. Some were fermented in stainless and others in oak and the finished wines were aged 12 to 18 months in oak (14.8% abv.).

This sounds like a nice blend and it makes for a dark purple color and a complex nose of various dark fruits and vanilla. The body was light with a lot of flavor, dark fruit and vanilla with a little leather. There are moderate tannins and good acidity which make for an enjoyable experience. The blend of various wines works well.

Conclusion: These are all big fruity wines leaning toward higher but not excessive alcohol numbers but they were very well made and the overall balance was very good. Nice big noses and great dark fruit flavors. I would recommend you try them and see which appellation you prefer. They will pair well with a large selection of meat or spicy vegetarian dishes. You can search #Bold&Mysterious on Twitter to see tweets from all the bloggers also tasting these wines.

Disclaimer: The wines were provided as tasting samples.

One Comment

  1. These choices sound wonderful to me. Thanks for the review!