2012 Storybook Mountain "Estate Reserve" Napa Valley Zinfandel (Previously $65)
Wine & Spirits
If you go for a hike in the Palisades above Napa Valley, this is what the summer air smells like—sage, manzanita and wild flowers. That multidimensional scent gives the wine a floral, spicy aromatic complexity rarely found in Napa Valley reds. This is a lean and muscular Zin, and though it may not have the kind of energy that sustains Storybook’s best Estate Reserves for decades in the cellar, it is tightly focused, its ripe fruit tunneling through mineral-inflected tannins and making an imprint on the palate that lasts. Perhaps its marathon-runner’s build will keep it in shape as it ages. For now, it’s a testament to how Napa Valley Zinfandel can be much prettier than Cabernet.
*One Star* Although fairly ripe and very solidly fruity with the unmistakable blackberry bias of Zinfandel, this slow-to-unfold wine is a little tight and withdrawn and takes its time to come to full voice. Its first feint to softness is followed by structured firmness and nominal tannins, and, if never quite juicy, its ample fruit quietly holds and holds. As is usually the case with wines from its maker, it is a Zin meant to be aged, and, if it follows in the footsteps of its Estate Reserve forerunners, it will have a very long life ahead.
Well-built, with rich fruit notes and a central core of focused tannin and acid. Aromas of black cherry and fresh sage open to powerful flavors of boysenberry, licorice and pepper that linger toward full tannins. Drink now through 2021. (TF, Web-2016)