Peju Zinfandel 2007

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Anyone who has been to Napa a few times knows the general rule that it is best to avoid Highway 29 if you want to find anything other than explosive renditions of American ostentatiousness and tour bus groups. Lest an overly severe bias interfere with the discovery of new wines, I must offer a caveat here. There are several great wineries on 29, including Nickel and Nickel, Cardinale and St. Clement. There is also the family run winery Peju, founded in 1982, which I have seen for years but never stepped into. Fortunately, Peju has recently entered the B.C. market and I was sent some samples to review. The Zinfandel was the favourite of what I received.

This is classic American zinfandel. Hugely fruity, robust and balls-to-the-wall, some may write off wines like this but they have their place. There are not many wines that can stand up to dishes like Chili (with which I paired my bottle) or to the variety of flavours found at Thanksgiving tables.

Peju’s Zinfandel is a well made example of Napa zin. It has powerful fruit but also strong enough acid to keep it fresh on the palate. It is aromatic, bold and sexy. My only “complaint” is that I find the alcohol slightly astringent on the palate. Given, Zinfandel is a naturally high alcohol variety and it is difficult to perfect (terroir also has a significant play here), but I would have liked to see a little more textural finesse here. Nonetheless, this is good zin and zin-lovers will not be disappointed. If you like big robust foods and haven’t yet paired them with Zinfandel, then I highly recommend trying it out.

Very Good
$55 at Kits Wine

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