Put this wine in my Zin (Turleys) tasting last night as a "throwaway":
1. DeLoachVnyds Estate/RussianRvrVlly Zin (14.7%; 1949 cs) 1981: Dark color w/ no browning or bricking; beautiful pencilly/pungent/toasty/smokey very cedary some licorice/peppery/roasted chiles slight horsecollar complex oldBdx nose; soft/smooth/velvety very cedary/charred/pencilly light licorice/dusty/peppery/pungent flavor; very long/lingering velvety/smooth cedary/pencilly/charred/old Bdx finish w/ little tannins; no signs of drying out at all; lots of old Bdx/Cab character; very complex; one of those rare old Zins that has come together well; not only a pleasure to smell, but also a pleasure on the palate; amazingly good old Zin.
And Cecil gets a BloodyPulpit:
1. I, of course, followed Cecil DeLoach's wines from the very start. After he left his fireman's job and moved to their SantaRosa property to make wine; he proved to be one of the best makers of Zin; I fell in love with his wines. I even loved his powerful Chards, back in the days when I thought oak and Chard were one in the same. From the late '70's thru mid-'80's, his Zins were some of the best Calif had to offer. He then went on to make his single vnyd Zins (Pelletti, now Carlisle; Barbieri, forget the other two). Then, as he ramped up the production, the wines took a serious nosedive. The last time I visited with him, it was clear that he'd lost all his passion for the wine biz; he clearly was more interested in anything other than talking to some wine geek. And the rest is history...production continued to grow, couldn't sell all the wines, finally went kaput and it was sold off.
Cecil now makes wines under his Hook&Ladder label, supposedly from these same Estate grapes. But I've never seen the wine on the shelf nor tasted it; so don't know if Cecil has successfully reinvented himself or not. I hope he does.