Saddleback Cellars2004 Old Vine Zinfandel
Nils Venge has come up with another – his 12th vintage – whopping big and delicious Zinfandel. As with most of Venge’s wines, they need to be put down – if you have the patience and I recommend you find some – for a bit to allow them to come around. You’ll be rewarded big time. With this edition, everything’s in check: Great fruit and evident, but restrained tannins, and even well-integrated alcohol, which tops out at a listed 15.1 percent. The grapes were harvested from all old vine vineyards in Calistoga, Capelle Valley (west of Atlas Peak), Venge’s estate in Oakville, and from the Russian River in Sonoma County. Ninety-one percent of the fruit was sourced from the Napa Valley. The wine was fermented in new American oak barrels for 20 months.
Reviewed August 9, 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.