2009 Jaxon Keys Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

Mission Codename: Purple Keys

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to Jaxon Keys, secure an exclusive allocation of their Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel our Zin-loving Operatives

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Jaxon Keys Winery

Wine Subject: 2009 Zinfandel – Dry Creek Valley

Winemaker: Fred Nickel

Backgrounder: 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. Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels, which are characterized by their refinement and balance, are the most popular with our Operatives.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Darkest ruby hues, with a slightly darker core. Coloring is evenly concentrated, from core to the fine pink line at the edge of the glass. When swirled, the wine leaves behind tall, skinny, wine-stained tears.

Smell – Lush black fruit, earth and spice leap from the glass. In even proportion, the wine presents bold blackberry, black cherry, bramble, leather, tobacco, dried fall leaves, mocha, smoky brown spice, dried meats and black pepper.

Feel – Instantly grippy on entry. At the mid-palate, it feels smooth and softly round. Plush tannins and a bright acidity give the wine a mouth-filling feel. As the wine settles onto the palate, it gradually takes on a chewy feel.

Taste – Darkest cherry and smoky blackberry, dark spice and dried wild fennel make a powerful initial appearance. These bold flavors then give way to cocoa powder, dusty bramble, dried fall leaves, slate, bold and softly toasted oak. Black pepper appears at the very end.

Finish – Very long and very flavorful, with black fruit yielding to red fruit and the wines earthen components of bramble, oak and spice. At the very end, these give way to slate and pepper notes.

Conclusion – This is an impressive Zinfandel at a terrific price. Jaxon Keys has come a long way since we first sampled them a few years ago. The addition of winemaker, Fred Nickel, is a welcome one. Fred, who has long made wines for some very prominent California wineries, has been called a winemaker, a scientist, a farmer and a wizard. Whether there is magic involved in his winemaking or not, we can simply say that we are impressed. Today’s spicy, darkly fruity wine is delicious, and classic Dry Creek Valley. Enjoy now, or cellar a few bottles for the next few years.

Mission Report:

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of XXX can be seen in this satellite photo.

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