1999 Robert Biale Monte Rosso Zinfandel
Okay, so one thing that I’ve determined in my short wine-tasting “career” is that grapes that are grown on a hill taste much better than grapes grown in a valley.
I don’t know if that rule works for everyone, but I’ve found it to be very true as of late, as every wine that I truly love is from a vineyard that sits on a hill. Some examples would be the Lakoya Diamond Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, and the D’Cubed Howell Mountain Zinfandel.
Okay, so I’ll state right off that those two wines are my current favorites, but this one is indeed very nice. I was trying to pick something that would stand up to the snack at hand, which consisted of Trader Jose’s (Trader Joe’s) Unsalted Tortilla Chips and Montana Tom’s Absolutely Ultimate Four Pepper Salsa (friends just brought me some from Montana.) I was also looking forward to a grilled filet (from Costco) for dinner, and a square or two of dark chocolate for desert while listening to some music that I downloaded from iTunes today. (Namely Sting’s iTunes Originals and Dashboard Confessional’s MTV Unplugged.)
I looked in the cooler, and was tempted by several of the white wines, as the outdoor temperature is sitting at about 108 on my back porch. (Okay, if you must know, the National Weather Service doesn’t use my back porch for its official temperature readings, as the Chamber of Commerce would run them out of town on a rail. They say that it is only a mildly-warm 105.)
But back to my cooler… I looked at some Cabernet Sauvignon that is constantly calling out to me, but out of the corner of my eye, I caught the Biale Zinfandels. I have both the Black Chicken and the Monte Rosso.
Whenever I attend a wine show, I first look for the Robert Biale booth, as I know that they’ll be the first to run out of wine, pack up and go home. That is because their wines are far better than those usually brought by any other vineyard! I found that the Black Chicken is one of my favorites. But the Monte Rosso isn’t to be ignored either.
The color is HUGE, a very dark purple – if only all Zinfandels could achieve this color… And it has beautiful legs. The aroma is of a ripe fruit, without going over the edge to raisins, plus it is very hot, (as in alcohol content.) There is some black cherry or blackberry aroma there also. In the mouth, it is very ripe, but it is not over the top. There are no raisins or prunes here. I will say that it is probably time to drink this one now or within the next year to get the most out of it. It is indeed very hot; the alcohol content is listed on the label as 15%, but I’d guess that it is a bit over 15%.
Any way, if you have a chance, try this one.