Sampled two red wines at a restaurant

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Sampled two red wines at a restaurant

Postby JC (NC) » Fri May 03, 2013 12:33 pm

Luigi's Ristorante in Fayetteville, NC has free wine tastings every Thursday. I went last night and stayed for dinner. There were about five wines for tasting but I tried only two of them. I liked both wines but found them somewhat atypical. One was the 2011 J. Lohr's Vineyard Series Fog Reach Pinot Noir with grapes from Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, CA. It has won some medals in California wine competitions. Pale ruby or garnet color with some transparency. Very fragrant. Cherries, cherry liqueur, cinnamon? It tasted of candied cherries and although this would usually be a turnoff for me, I still liked this wine quite a bit. It retails on wine-searcher.com for about $28-$33, up from low $20's for the 2010 vintage.

The second wine I tried was the 2012 Predator Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi, CA from vines that are more than 50 years old.
This region is east of San Francisco at the edge of the Sacramento River Delta. My first impression of the wine was that this has something heavy, smoky and meaty in texture and scents. It was definitely very "bacony" in a way that I don't usually encounter in Zinfandel. Drinking it in a blind tasting I would have guessed Syrah. I like bacon so enjoyed this wine but didn't find it typical of Zin. The previous vintage of this retails for about $12-$14 on wine-searcher. I looked up the wine on CellarTracker and the 2011 vintage averaged almost 89 points by tasters. Previous vintages averaged closer to 85 or 86 points. Some of the CT notes on the 2009 vintage also mention smoky, meaty aromas. Unusual Zin I would say.
Last edited by JC (NC) on Fri May 03, 2013 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
JC (NC)
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Re: Sampled two red wines at a restaurant

Postby Jenise » Fri May 03, 2013 2:21 pm

Arroyo Seco pinots have that candied cherry you speak of, but also usually a contrasting green note--I find the combination VERY attractive. Love the Talley pinots from that little region.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Sampled two red wines at a restaurant

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri May 03, 2013 2:30 pm

Ah how times have changed - J. Lohr for $30!
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Re: Sampled two red wines at a restaurant

Postby JC (NC) » Fri May 03, 2013 2:44 pm

I think the Vineyard Series is the high end for J. Lohr.
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Re: Sampled two red wines at a restaurant

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri May 03, 2013 4:31 pm

I sure hope so. :wink:

Thinking back - I have had a few J. Lohr wines in blind tastings in the past, and they have been consistently correct and enjoyable. No they are not profound, but there's nothing wrong with a good, straightforward wine.
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