Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red back to Maroon Wines, where he has been granted exclusive access to their wine cache. Sample their secret selections and choose the finest one for our deserving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Maroon wines
Wine Subject: 2007 Maroon wines Napa Valley Zinfandel
Winemaker: Plau Maroon
Backgrounder: The Chiles Valley AVA is a very distinctive grape growing region the northeastern part of the Napa Valley. It is a small, narrow and very steep growing region that sits between St. Helena to the west and Lake Berryessa to the east. The region warm climate and well drained soils provide great growing conditions for Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes for today’s Gold Medal-winning wine was grown at 1000 feet above the valley floor.
Zinfandel is related to the Italian Primitivo grape, tracing its origin to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski. Zinfandel is one of the most versatile varietals with the ability to make wines, both rich to fruity, dark to light, and dry to sweet.
Look – Beautiful dark garnet hues, with a darker core. Viewed from the top, the wine takes on an almost iridescent magenta color, from edge to core. After swirling, tall, thin, wine-stained tears move very slowly downward.
Smell – Sweet, softly spiced Bing cherry, jammy blackberry and blueberry are the first to greet your nose with a heady fullness that encourages a deep inhalation. These sweet aromas are closely followed by warm brown spice, cigar box, black pepper and cassis.
Feel – Voluptuous and soft at the tip of the tongue and then quickly grippy and plush as the wine moves further along the palate. At the edges of the tongue, a soft warmth adds a lovely, subtle pepper-spiced heat. Bright acids add the right amount of balance.
Taste – Juicy, jammy and delicious, with bold black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, cassis and dried cranberry. These are closely followed by dark plum, leather, dried brown tobacco leaf, dried mushroom, soft spice and black pepper.
Finish – Very long and evolving, the wine leads with jammy, juicy dark fruit. As these tail off, the edges of the palate warm, just slightly, as spice and black pepper take over. Then, as the palate drys, this subtle heat fades gradually.
Conclusion – Delicious. Delightful. Divine. Today’s 2007 Maroon Wines Zinfandel is a truly fantastic Zinfandel. Maroon has always impressed us with their wines and when the winery offered us their coveted 2007 Zin, we leaped at the chance. We had tasted the wine, last year, and we loved it. When we tasted it again, this month, we were blown away. This wine has progressed so beautifully. While it is very aromatic and bursting with juicy flavor, this wine does have great balance. With spice and earthen characteristics to round it out, this wine is a true delight to sip and discuss. Drinking beautifully, now, this wine will continue to progress over the next several years. Pair with your favorite Summertime BBQ, or enjoy it all on its own.
The location of the Maroon Wines own Maroon vineyard can be seen in this satellite photo.