Saturday, October 08, 2005

Wine: Zinfandel: Haywood Estates: 1997 Los Chamizal Vineyard

It's unlikely that a quick glance at this blog would convey just how much I'm into wine. This has something to do with how difficult it can be to photograph wine. Generally I drink my wine in the evening, and what with glass being a reflective surface it can be hard to capture the glass and not also your own reflection.

That said, folks who know me will likely be surprised that the first bottle to drive me to post was this conglomerate-owned Zin. While the bottle relates the story of Peter Haywood planting vines on the steep terraces of a sonoma hill back in 1976, Haywood Estates belonged to Allied Domecq until Allied Domecq was acquired by "Pernod Ricard in partnership with Fortune Brands."

Have a history with this bottle though. Shortly after being dot-commed back in 1999, we tasted this wine at the Buena Vista (another Allied Domecq brand) tasting room in Sonoma. After stopping at Ravenswood, and being told by the room staff to not bother buying any of there wine there because Cost Plus carried most of it for much less, Buena Vista seemed stuffy. The 5.00 charge for the premium tasting seemed positively Napa-like.

The Haywood Estates zin made it all worth while though. Bone-dry nose that smelled like dust, dark fruit with pronounced acidity, more elegant than you'd expect for a '97 coming in at 14.5% alcohol. We splurged 40.00-worth on a single bottle. A year and a half later, with me laid off and considering everything from moving to Portland to taking up teaching, we drank it. It wasn't everything we remembered, but we'd been on a tear through our cellar.

Flash forward a few years. Stopped at Buckingham Wine and Spirits this past Friday, on a whim after a meeting with our real estate agent. Seems like they almost always have one bottle on the shelves that has no business being in a small liquor store on at Buckingham Wind and Spirits on Lakeshore avenue. This time around it was the 1997 Haywood Estates Los Chamizal Zin.

The cork on this bottle had seeped a bit, but the nose was just as I remembered.

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