Squall 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi, California)
By Phillip Koh
March 23rd, 2017
Background: I am trying out Tastingroom.com’s membership, I believe by Lot 18. This is the first wine I tried out of the first shipment which I believed 12 bottles. I wanted to try out their concept which is in a way supposed to be like the “netflix of wine” where you get regular shipments of wine which learn your preferences initially (and perhaps as time goes on also) by the way of your input/feedback. I must say, they did a great job of picking out wines for a good first impression(or first taste rather). I ordered their initial sample/trial that sent me a few of the bite size bottles, and I was too busy to try all of them, and then after some time has passed (maybe a month?) they decided to just go ahead and make a purchasing decision themselves and send me a whole box full of them anyway. (and each box isn’t cheap, costed me about $150 or $160 more or less) So this is the only thing I would caution my readers about Tastingroom.com. If you don’t give them feedback on your samples, or actually cancel before it gets to that point, they will activate the full purchase (of the box) without further input from you. Even without much of my input (other than maybe answering a few preliminary questions), they did send me some really good wine. So far I have tried this one, and the Llamas Richie Malbec which I will also be blogging about, and they have both been excellent, especially for their price range.
Company: TR Wines
Wine/Grape Type: (Old Vine) Zinfandel
Appellation: Lodi, California
Summary: This old vine zinfandel is beautifully balanced, reasonable in price, and very tasty.
Medium / Deeper purple and lighter red and black cherries combined. reddish purple or purplish red. Very beautiful almost two-toned depending on the lighting situation and how you view in relation to the glass and the surface of the wine itself.
first time I smelled it after just a little bit of aeration in the glass it smelled very pleasant and ripe, sweet kind of with baking spices. upon closer inspection/ resniffing the class I found juicy ripe fruits, smells exactly like a great old vine zinfandel, Sundried fruits reminded me of figs or Medjool dates. medium jammy smell. Light and fine spices like white pepper. very well balanced no rough edges. a lot of purple flower like iris, roses. smelled oakey and fruit and acid rounded out by the oakey, bit more of woodsy taste. Medium high alcohol smelled, a bit of cut grass and green herbs.
Taste was Big and Bold. medium high acidity, and bit on the acidic side for an old vine zinfandel. bright acids are very well balanced by vanilla / oak and woodsy taste and the juicy fruit. Semi/off dry, but a bit on the dry side in taste for old vine zinfandel. tasted a bit dryer than the smell suggested. Sour cherry kind of like the Terra d’Oro Barbera wine I reviewed last – not as bright/sour though but immediately followed by a lot of early/unripe and ripe fruits. Medium to low-medium tannins, a bit of astringency in the mouth. There is no strong structure I felt, other than just what it feels like from the spiciness of the wine. black peppers and toast, medium to medium mature oak (not too young) Higher alcohol content as it was very warm in the back of the throat. Medium to medium long finish. The taste has complexity and depth to it beyond the level of an average wine in the price range, which for this wine appears to be under $15
My food pairing note:
When I first opened it, I tried it on its own, wine in room temperature, and above tasting notes reflect that tasting. After the first glass I chilled the rest for a while and then had the (moderately chilled) version with a Chinese takeout that had both seafood and beef and poultry with tangy semi-sweet and spicy red sauce. This delightful wine and the saucy Chinese dish was the perfect pairing. Since this is a red wine, it will pair well with generally anything that has beef in it, and some poultry, or darker/stronger tasting fish like Mackerel or anchovies. The cooled juicy taste of this zinfandel and the warmness of the delicious sauce made for a nice, pleasurable combination and experience.
4.25 out of 5 for Quality
4.5 out of 5 for Value (quality per dollar)
2013 Squall Old Vine Zinfandel is Highly Recommended.