Well here it is. The first time that Vino in Love has tasting notes for an American wine for you. The wine is nothing special. It took me some time to find an American “starter” wine that was affordable. I heard lots of good things about Beringer so I decided to go with them. The 2008 Beringer Founder’s Estate Old Vine Zinfandel seemed to be the perfect opportunity. It retails for 13€ over here. Right away I can tell you that I will not buy this wine again. At least not in the near future. Continue reading to find out why. There is very little information on this wine, which I find kind of strange. Not even Beringer’s website lists any wines of the Founder’s Estate brand.
According to the definition of American Viticulture Area 85% of the grapes should be coming from that vintage if the bottle label specifies a vintage. So I assume that the wine is produced with at least 85% Zinfandel, rest unknown.
Founder’s Estate Old Vine Zinfandel tasting notes
There was a heavy aroma of mint and a little bit of blueberry. I tried to find more but I am afraid there was nothing else besides a little bit of alcohol smell. Talking about alcohol, the label listed ABV was 13.5%.
On the palate, the wine was dry with some acidity. Medium-bodied at most. After taking another sip, I noticed that alcohol became the dominant note. Furthermore I tasted a few dark fruits. There were a few tannins, too but they did not add much to the wine. The finish was somewhere between medium and long. A long finish sounds nice but if you mostly taste alcohol then it is not. In general, ‘flat’ might describe the wine best.
That said, I hope that my second Californian wine will be much better. I have a 2006 Teldeschi Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley in my cellar.
North American wine in Europe
The selection of American wines could be better here in Germany. I do not think that the selection will increase in the next years, though. There is simply no high demand for American wines, which can be explained by high-import costs and the fact that Europe is home to many leading wine producing countries that satisfy the growing demand of wine. I personally would appreciate a larger selection of American wine though. US wineries would need to do some marketing though to attract more customers.
If I look back at the ForumVini, a large international wine fair in Munich, then I remember next to European wineries, lots of South American, Australian and South African ones but (almost) no North American ones. I had to order the Teldeschi Zinfandel, which I have in my cellar, in Italy because it was not available at a reasonable price in Germany.
Europe is a large wine market so it would only make sense for US wineries to “conquer” a portion of this market. Time will show if they will do it.