Bianchi Zinfandel 2009 Paso Robles

Bianchi zin Inexpensive zinfandels usually have the finesse of a waddling duck in a leg splint. But Bianchi has managed to confound expectations. Round and fleshy but still crisp and lively on the palate, this is refreshing, flavorful, and just plain enjoyable.

There is plenty of blackberry jam on the nose set off by a little smoke and hints of fennel. The palate brings black cherry and a dose of vanilla out to play, careening about the mouth on frisky acidity.

The combination of French and American oak keep the vanilla in check. The finish is full of flavor but short, with tannins almost indiscernible.

Drink now. Probably not one for the ages, it will not leave you pondering Proust or ruminating on the profundity of grapes, but it will put a smile on your face, and after one glass you will want more. A great value.

Good: Succulent, refreshing, a great value

Bad: A little short on the finish.

Distinctive: Supple mouthfeel, avoids all of zinfandel’s worst tendencies

Price: Around 15:00

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