A very good friend of mine, the inimitable Jake Skakun of Toronto's Grey Gardens, casually mentioned something to me at least 10 years ago when we were working together in Vancouver. We were tasting a new listing we'd just added to the wine program, I *think* it was a Zinfandel from Hendry, and he mentioned a toasty gingerbread note he often gets from the variety.
Now, I don't often taste Zinfandel, but it's a comment that always stuck with me.
I recently received a sample of Rust Wine Co.'s 2014 Zinfandel from the Golden Mile Bench in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. The vines were planted in 2002, so they've had a good amount of time to establish themselves, but I was still VERY, VERY APPREHENSIVE about how a local Zinfandel would play.
(For those not from around these parts, the region's a literal desert, with cacti, rattlesnakes, and a GDD higher than Napa; this wouldn't be the most unlikely variety to work here.)
The aromatics? BOOM! Jake's gingerbread notes wafted HARD. Currants, mulberries, blackberries and cocoa nestled well in polished tannins, while pitch-perfect acidity kept things lifted with charm.
There's a balance here; it's by no means sweet or cloying. Yeah, it's boozy (the label has it at 14.9% alcohol) - but here in Vancouver, we have a long, dark and rainy winter coming soon enough....