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Black Sears

2009 Black Sears Estate Zinfandel

2009 Black Sears Estate Zinfandel

The 2009 Zinfandel is the 2008 times two. Partly I think the growing season was better here on the mountain, but the experience of the previous vintage also helped. For everything that came in before the first big rain October 12th, the growing season was pretty uneventful. For Zinfandel, this lack of drama is crucial to the quality of the fruit. There are more savory notes to this wine than 2008, which helps mark its place of origin more acutely. The wine leads with cracked black pepper, beef blood, and white and red floral notes. The spicy fruit takes over on the palate with a mix of kirsch, black cherries, and what can only be described as "Zinberry" (though we've still never seen one) that balances the brambly, briary structure of Howell Mountain. I feel like I've been talking about this wine since it went to barrel... so I'm happy it's finally time to give everyone else a taste.

-Thomas Rivers Brown, Winemaker

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Wine Specs
Howell Mountain
Vineyard Designation
Alcohol %
Wine & Spirits
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
Wine & Spirits blind panels tasted 287 new-release Zinfandels over 12 months. Joshua Greene, rated the 2009 Black Sears Estate Zinfandel 95 points, the highest score of all 287.
About as sunny and glorious as a Napa red can be. It's a big wine that's tightly formed, clearly delineated by its structure. The black tannins yield mineral scents, black mushroom savor and forest spices that wander in all directions as the wine opens up with air. Delicious and compelling when first opened, this keeps getting better over the course of several days, suggesting how well it will handle a decade of age in the cellar. Or decant it now for seared filet of beef with a Port wine reduction.

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