In the glass, the 2015 Black Sears Estate Zinfandel is an opaque purple with a burning ring of fire. The nose is white and black pepper, blackberry bramble, coniferous trees, and a pair of anise and five-spice kisses. This is a muscular, structured Zin that tastes like it was bathed in big river sunshine and swaddled in silk, with everything we love about the 43-year old Black Sears vines seemingly crammed inside to overwhelm the taste buds – briary, black-fruited “Zinberries,” an entire rack of hillside spices, smoky grille, and an array of herbs and wild mountain forest delights (Matsutakes, anyone?). The bright Howell Mountain acidity ties the whole affair up with verve in a finish that lasts longer than a stint in Folsom Prison. This wine is pure Outlaw Country: Pair with blue-smoke deckle brisket, Johnny Cash, and an all-in straight flush.
360 cases produced
19 months on 100% French Oak (1/3 new, 1/3 year-old, 1/3 neutral)
Winemaker: Thomas Rivers Brown