2001 Camellia Cellars Petite-Zin Doug Rafanelli-Bacchi Vineyards
Sonoma County, California
WB Rating: 89

Alcohol by volume: 14.6%
Price at time of purchase: $30.00 (winery)
Type: Zinfandel
Principal varietal(s): 75% Petite Sirah, 25% Zinfandel

This rustic beefcake of a wine is a bit of a curiosity. It was apparently made by Doug Rafanelli in the deep past from several Sonoma vineyards, but bottled and sold by Camellia Cellars as a current (as of February '08) release. Whatever its history, this is an excellent wine. The Petite Sirah is dominant in the opaque purple, tooth-staining color and the heavy-duty tannins still present in the wine. But the fruit and weight of the wine stand up to the tannin nicely. Heady aromas and flavors of ripe blackberry, bittersweet chocolate, and a charred-toast-like component. A bit of a brute in texture, but perfect with big barbecue food. It's hard to know if this still-youthful wine will improve further, but that's a possiblity since at age 7 it feels like it's just coming into its own. - HK 2008-04-06


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