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Reactions to Claudia Springs Valenti Ranch Mendocino Ridge ’06 Zinfandel

2006 Claudia Springs Zinfandel Valenti Ranch – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino Ridge (9/16/2013)
On release this was an eyebrow-raiser. Who wants a 17.8% Zinfandel, especially from a producer specializing in cooler-climate lighter-weight Zinfandels?

But I loved it back in the day, and even many years later (September ’13) it’s drinking well. Yes, there’s a port-like character, but there’s no mistaking the Zinfandel fundamentals. The distinctive Zinfandel spice, the fruit – both still there, in concert with the viscosity. Not a lot of complexity, but that’s not what I look for in Zinfandel.

“Balance” doesn’t just mean “light” – this was and still is an example of a wine that can be huge and balanced, even years later.

This wine has peaked, but it’s not declining all that rapidly. Shows that Zinfandel can take a little age, and that *Mendocino* Zinfandel can make good big wines.

Seems unlikely you could find the ’06 vintage these days, especially given the announced retirement of the producer. But if you’re sitting on some bottles, drink them soon and enjoy them like you would have years ago. (88 points)

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