California and its counties are a patchwork of appellations from its southern border with Mexico to its northern border with Oregon.  Much like here in Ontario, there are cellaring wineries that buy grapes from all over to produce wines under their own label.

This wine’s full name as seen on the label is: Stonehedge Reserve Amador County Zinfandel 2008 Special Vineyard Select.

I like quite a few California wines – Napa Valley is, after all; on the same latitudes as Ontario’s viticultural zones.  Seeing the various narrowing of appellations on this label and liking the rich, full-bodied structure of old vine Zins, this LCBO/Vintages purchase at ~$18 seemed like a great value at the time.

In an attempt to refine my wine-tasting skills, with the help of a vino-friend; I’ve been tasting most of my new entries blindfolded.  I carefully ponder all the non-visual aspects of a vino and as I ramble and consider, my vino-friend takes notes.

The alcohol-forward (14.9% alc/vol!!!!!)  nose is jammy and smokey with scents of charred wood and cloves. Very full-bodied and slightly off-dry, the funky charred flavor fills the mouth with dried fruits and concentrated vanilla extract.  The result is an overpowering complex finish that creates the urge to wash my mouth out with Borax.

I must reiterate: I love a lot of California wines and honestly appreciate a good Zinfandel, but this one is TERRIBLE!!!

~tvb

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**image credit – me!  I took this image myself as so many ppl must hate this wine as much as I do to NOT wish to immortalize its likeness online.  Label design and other stuff owned by the winery.  Published under fair use provisions for review and critique.

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