Madrigal 2001 Napa Valley Zinfandel ($25.00)
Very dark ruby in color, this stylish Zinfandel offers distinct raspberry aromas but shows more restraint than "fruit-bomb" styles of Zin; distant herbal "leafy" and "sappy" scents form a subtle backdrop. Ripe mixed-berry fruit shows on the palate, with structure provided more by 14.5 percent alcohol than acidity, creating an offbeat textural impression that seems both soft and full at the same time. It's a big mouthful of Zin fruit, with appetizing berry flavors in the finish. US Importer: (Mar 9, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: We sampled it with a hearty pizza to test Zin's affinity for the humble Italian pie, and it worked well enough, although a little more acidity might have made for a more snappy food match. Next time I would serve this one with Zin's most favored companion, char-grilled meats.



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