T-Vine Brown Estate Zinfandel 2006
Anyone who has been following this blog for any length of time knows how much I love Brown Estate zinfandel. While I was down in California I also heard great things about T-Vine, a virtual winery sourcing fruit from some superb vineyards in Napa and making surprisingly reasonably priced wines. This particular zinfandel is no longer made as the Browns now use all of their fruit for their own wines. So count me in the lucky few who got to taste the last iteration of what Greg Brown, wine maker for T-Vine (no relation), did with the Brown Estate grapes. Only 400 cases were made.
The nose on this was distinctly Chiles Valley – I again noticed cranberry as the dominant fruit. I also found cherry, banana, and cigar in this rich and ripe smelling wine. However, the palate is far more complex than you might expect if you hadn’t had the chance to taste Brown Estate fruit before: plenty of acidity in the mid-palate brought forward in cherry and plum skin flavours. This is quite a refined tating zin – not at all jammy and not a big fruit punch bowl of sweetness. Intead the fruit is elegant and long in the mouth and while there is some caramel on the finish, ultimately this wine is very layered and complex, showing how great the Browns’ fruit really is.
Luckily all is not lost – you can still buy wines made with this impeccable fruit from the Browns themselves, and T-Vine is still making great wine from other superb vineyard sites. I recommend you seek both out.
$32 USD at K&L in San Francisco