From a blind tasting of "summer reds":
2006 Ridge Zinfandel Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley
My bottle. Beautifully perfumed, with tangy boysenberry spice and orange rind. Not typical zin, and it fooled the boys, too: Rioja and all kinds of other grapes/places were mentioned before anyone guessed California zinfandel. Tannins are fairly resolved at this point, and it's perfect for current drinking.
2007 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines
Also my bottle. What a contrast after the lithe Ridge Pagani. Corpulent with heavy fruit and low acid, porty. Not great but it demonstrated a point. So glad to finally have this retard bottle out of my cellar and gone!
2006 Stephenson Cellars Merlot Washington
Powdered sugar/violet nose of WA merlot, with a balanced blend of red and black fruits softened by age and reasonable acidity. Very nice showing.
2010 Seresin Pinot Noir Home Vineyard Marlborough
Easily identifiable as pinot but I was certain its age was 7-10 years, as the color was burnished and the fruit more secondary than primary with funk on the nose and mushrooms on the palate. Really liked it, but am taking points away for prematurity.
2011 Echeverría Carménère Molina, Chile
Decanted for several hours but still sharp. Black fruit. None of the 'green plastic' so many Chilean carmeneres have, but little of the chocolate character prized in the grape evident either. Decent.
2010 Bedell Merlot Eric Fischl Artist Series Merlot Reserve North Fork, Long Island
Also my bottle. Medium color red and medium body, spicy with good tannins, pure/restrained style, almost pinot-like with a little cedar thrown in. Was curious if my fellow Washingtonians would recognize the grape compared to the blueberry style we're so used to. They had trouble ID'ing it, but liked the wine a lot. It was the first bottle drained.
2012 Luchetti Lacryma di Morro, Italy
Red fruit, peppery, balanced, and very European though I was thinking Languedoc-Roussillon. A perfect summer red for $15ish.
2007 Brillane VdP (syrah, grenache and cabernet)
In spite of the cabernet, comes across as Provencal without seeming like a CdP or known appellation. Fresh and nervy, would have guessed 2010-12. Incredibly decent for a vintage where some of the big boys didn't produce lasting wine.
Another good "summer red".
Plus two wines we've enjoyed at home this week:
1999 R. López de Heredia Rioja Viña Bosconia Tempranillo Blend
Has picked added body, depth and earthiness since my last bottle about 2 yrs ago--cherry, spice and orange rind. Needs food; was great with pasta and red sauce. Very nice.
2013 Château Miraval Côtes de Provence
In spite of low expectations--celebrity wine, surely overpriced because of that--I was VERY impressed and found it worth the $ ($20ish). Way above average body and depth for a rose with spice, vanilla, strawberry and black pepper. Most roses don't require or reward contemplation, but this one does. And it's prettier than Brad!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov