By Lenn Thompson, Founder and Editor-in-Chief


I've taken an unintentional hiatus from Wine Blogging Wednesday the last couple of months, and for that I'm a little ashamed (but only a bit). Sometimes I get busy, okay? Anyway…

For those of you who don't know what WBW is, it's a monthly virtual wine tasting project that I founded several years go. Each month, a wine blogger chooses a theme and bloggers (and non-bloggers) buy/taste a wine that fits the theme and post about it, often on the second Wednesday of the month.

This month's edition, hosted by Megan of Wannabe Wino (who is a huge wino by the way, not a wannabe), is themed "I Have Zinned" and features, you guessed it, zinfandel.

I know that there are plenty of people out there who think I ONLY drink New York wines, but that's a clear misconception. Sure, I drink them a lot and I think it's important to drink local, but there are some grapes and wines that just don't work well in New York — zin being one of them.

I love zinfandel, at least partly because it's just so different from most of the local wines I drink. They are big, powerful (both in flavor and alcohol) and are really just in-your-face wines. There's a lot of crappy $10 zin out there though, so be careful.

I almost missed out on this edition of WBW. I went down into my cellar to pull a bottle, thinking that I had some down there. No, I didn't (save some samples a winery sent me and I don't use those for WBW if I can avoid it). So, I drove up the road to the nearest wine shop, a shop that usually has some interesting wines and even some older vintages (though they are usually stored upright, so I tend to avoid them).

Anyway, I picked up this Neyer's Vineyards 2000 Pato Vineyard Zinfandel for $33.

I think that conventional wisdom is that zinfandel doesn't age all that well, but I thought it'd be interesting to see how this wine was at age 9.

In a word: tired.

There was still a bit of fruit here — strawberry and raspberry, but it was barely holding on, slipping into a cavern that was clove-y and spicy (good) but also very earthy in a dusty, not-so-good way. There an interesting brown sugar component and some faint meatiness, but without fruit to balance it, the alcohol pokes through pretty signifcantly on the finish too. 

I'd like to get my hands on a more recent vintage of this wine, though. I don't have a lot of experience with older zin, but it seems to me like this wine was either stored improperly (see above) or is just past peak.

So thanks to Megan for hosting. Next time I'll make sure that I have my wine picked out further ahead of time, so I'm not left at the mercy of the nearest shop.