Saturday, April 19, 2008
This is the kind of cool California wine that rarely makes an appearance back east, but is fairly readily available here on the west coast. I suppose that I have been on something of a zin posting bender of late, but in both cases I think they both more than merit the individual posts. Sky makes zin the old fashioned way: full of spice, acidity, and yes, even some grippy tannins. In other words there is more to them than a lot of fruit, high alcohol, and simple front-mid palate flavors. This wine smells a touch lactic, but not to the point where it is bothersome. Cherries on the nose, leaning a bit towards the Robitussin side of things, kick things off in an unexpected, italianate, dare I say Piemontese way. The color as well is lighter and reminds me of Nebbiolo. On the palate there is terrific acidity, as I mentioned earlier, and a real sense of tension. Tension in Zinfandel? In this one, yep. It's right up there with Joseph Swan's fanstastic 2002 Sonoma Zin in terms of elegance, brightness, and touching multiple points of the palate.
Sky Vineyards is located 2100 feet up eastern facing vineyards on Mount Veeder. They farm sustainably and by all indications, from folks who I know have visited and from the way the wine tastes, make wine in a decidedly natural, non-interventionist fashion. Owner/winemaker/artist Lore Olds also designs the labels each year. More info here.