I am an unabashed fan of Zinfandel, and always have been. I like that it's bombastic and unrelenting and unashamed of being way too much most of the time. It's like I have a twin! And I'm head-pruned too. "Cortina" is the soil type in the Seghesio Zinfandel Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. (The wine was not named for the Ford Cortina, a car that, ironically, was dirt cheap.) The 2006 Cortina Zinfandel is an interesting wine. It started with a very ripe, almost late harvest, extracted, gutsy aroma that concerned me. But on the palate it showed lovely balance, some chalky finishing tannins and gorgeous fruit, where I was expecting a clumsier, over-the-top kind of Zin from the nose. This seems reflective of the 2006 vintage, the extended heat at vintage's end giving it the late harvest characteristics in the nose, but the age of the vines at the Cortina vineyard maintaining a lovely balance and freshness anyway. (I had heard of plans to blend the Cortina Zin with some Cabernet from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in Napa in order to create a lovely "Cortina Fay" bottling, but, luckily, those were scrapped--like that joke should have been.) What you end up with is a Zinfandel with black raspberry and a pinch of white pepper flavors, with nice fruit intensity, elegant, supple, chalky tannins, and plenty of guts. I tend to like Seghesio's Cortina Zinfandel because in most vintages, including this one, it shows the power and eloquence of Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel.
The HoseMaster Score 706,865 Points
Disclaimer: All performers in this review were over 18 at the time of filming. Any resemblance to actual wine criticism is purely coincidental.
After 19 years as a Sommelier in Los Angeles, twice named Sommelier of the Year by the Southern California Restaurant Writers' Association, I moved to Sonoma County to explore the other aspects of the wine business. I've spent, OK wasted, 35 years learning about and teaching about and swallowing wine. I am also a judge at the Sonoma Harvest Fair, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the San Francisco International Wine Competition--so I can spit like a rabid llama. I know more about wine than David Sedaris and I'm funnier than James Laube. Stay tuned for an informed but jaded view of everything wine and everything else.
I'm living proof that alcohol kills brain cells.
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