March 11, 2008

Neyers "Pato Vineyard" Zinfandel 2005

Zinfandel / $25 - $35
Contra Costa / California

Last week I did the Chef's Tasting at "Black Salt" in Washington, D.C. I was very impressed with the wine list there. It was clearly put together by someone that had a passion for wine. There were many blends, esoteric varietals and lesser known vineyards..all of good quality.

Neyers produces some wonderful wines. Most are highly rated, and all are reasonably priced for their quality. This vineyard has vines that are over 110 years old. Rich Pato oversees this plot and painstakingly tends to the vines. Most vines are not irrigated, so the low yeilding crop is rich with flavour. The grapes are hand picked, crushed and left in contact with the grape skins for 30 days before further fermentation.

The wine pours lighter then I expected. Only a medium red to ruby color, this wine smells like stewed fruit, red berries and a bit of spice and pepper. It tastes wonderful. Lots of fruit up front. Berries, red and black with a bit of tart cranberry too. It has a rich sweetness to the fruit. It is mouth filling and satisfying. I was thrilled.

Many zins can border on sweet and have a syrupy cloying finish. . Many are high in alcohol and will burn on the finish. This wine, although 15.5% alcohol, has a long balanced finish and avoids cloying sweetness. I loved it.

If you have a chance to try some of Neyer's wines you will be pleased you did. Although not cheap, I still say this wine is a good value. This wine is not stocked everywhere. Call ahead to your favorite wine store to see if they carry it.

If you want to buy it On-line, try Binny's Beverage Depot They carry this for $29.99 per bottle or $28.49 by the case. ENJOY!

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