We recently enjoyed our second bottle of 2009 Rombauer Zinfandel while dining at Antica Trattoria. It was outstanding, but more on that later.
First, here’s a little background on why we’re big advocates of buying at least two bottles whenever we like a wine. That second bottle gives you all sorts of options:
- You can share it with friends
- You can drink one now and cellar the other one for a while
- You can avoid being disappointed when you drink your one and only bottle
We’ve often noticed that you can have two bottles of the same wine at the same time and they’ll taste just a little bit different. It’s a perfectly normal and fun characteristic of wine.
When we bring two bottles of the same wine to share with friends at a restaurant, we always ask our server to pour a taste of the second bottle in a separate glass before serving it. The wine really does taste just a little bit different in most cases. When this happens, we ask our server to allow people to finish their glass of the first bottle before refilling it with the second.
Now back to the Rombauer.
It’s fun to compare our tasting notes when we drink a wine several months apart. Our perceptions are no doubt influenced by each bottle’s individual characteristics, its relative age, what we’re pairing it with, and even our mood at the time.
Here’s how it tasted when we enjoyed a bottle in July:
“Aromas of dark fruit. A jammy Zin with rich blackberry flavors, and a splash of pepper. The berry flavor stays strong throughout the lingering, smooth finish. You’d never know it was 15.9% alcohol.”
Here’s how it tasted when we enjoyed a bottle in late October:
“Dark fruit on the nose mixed with a little herb. Jam bomb with tastes of blueberry compote that carry throughout the palate with light pepper on the finish. Pour it on you pancakes. The 15.9 % heat is totally hidden in this bottle.”
Our notes are very similar but have two differences. First, we picked up some herbaceous quality on the nose the second time around. This is very unusual for a Zinfandel and may have been just that bottle of wine or perhaps a smell that came from our food. The second difference is we tasted blackberry in the first bottle and blueberry in the second.
Both bottles were very good, but they were also a little different. Perhaps we’ll need to start buying three bottles of good wine so we’ll have a tie-breaker!