Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Wine Spies favorite, Grgich Hills Estate, for special access to their newest Zinfandel. Secure a sizable allocation for our waiting Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Grgich Hills Estate
Wine Subject: 2008 Napa Valley Estate Grown Zinfandel
Winemaker: Miljenko “Mike” Grgich
Backgrounder: In 1976, Mike Grgich rocked the wine world by creating a California that beat out French Chardonnays in the now famous Judgment of Paris. The French were outraged, and Mike Grgich earned the respect of wine drinkers and critics, worldwide. Today, Mike continues to oversee production of what have been heralded as “the finest wines in the world”. We are very proud to be able to bring you today’s fantastic Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Zinfandel.
Look – Ruby red hues, with perfectly even color, from core to edge. Perfect clarity, right through the slightly darker core of the wine. After swirling, branching legs from high up on the glass wall – and then rocket downward.
Smell – Black cherry candy and blackberry mingle with sweet tobacco, earthy spice, cigar box and dark chocolate. As the wine stretches out a little, additional aromas of sweet cedar shavings, black pepper and softly toasted oak emerge.
Feel – Soft, smooth and slightly round, at first. Then, the wine becomes more weighty, revealing additional texture and complexity as a soft dryness spreads from the edges of the palate, inward. Fine tannins and an easy acidity contribute balance and elegance.
Taste – Dark red and concentrated, with black cherry and tart blackberry & plum preserves. Under these, dark notes of black tea leaf, cocoa powder, dark sweetwoods, tomato vine and toasted oak add a layer of complexity.
Finish – Long and very flavorful, with big cherry and cocoa gradually yielding to earthen tea, spice, soft pepper and a hint of oak.
Conclusion – Grgich has given us special access, once again, to one of their wines! Today’s 2008 Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Zinfandel is a fantastic offering from this, one of our most popular wineries. With delicious, dark cherry flavors that are balanced against cocoa and soft spice, our tasting panel found itself taking a long time with this wine, savoring every inhalation and sip as we reviewed. Rich, lush, flavor-filled and delicious, we give this wine very high marks. Enjoy this food-friendly wine now, and for the next 7 years or more.
The location of the Grgich Hills Estate can be seen in this satellite photo.