JR Wine2004 Big Dave’s Zinfandel, Brown Ranch
(Chiles Valley ~ Napa Valley)
Well, at least my notes are consistent. I guess I’m enamored with the Zinfandel from the Brown Estate made by young Kirk Venge [see my recommendations for the 2004 Macauley and the ‘04 D-Cubed (made by Duane Dappen)]. There is a thread running through these wines: While the winemaking styles might differ slightly, the commonality is the beautiful, big red fruit.
Here, the wine is tight and very young with lots of tannin. But as with all three wines, balance is the key. With the JR, from new St. Helena producer John Ramsey, it needs time – about three years – before it’ll be ready to drink; and then it will age for another dozen years or so.
The wine was custom-crushed at the Venge Rossini Ranch near Howell Mountain and owned by young Kirk and his father Nils Venge. The wine, named for Dave Brown of Brown Ranch, was aged 16 months in 50 percent new American oak. The listed alcohol is 14.5 percent and there were only 150 cases produced.
Reviewed April 23, 2007 by Alan Goldfarb.
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.