The Mettler Family’s grapegrowing roots date back to the 1770’s, so they’ve had a couple of years to get the farming formula in California’s Lodi region right. But it wasn’t until 1999 that the Mettlers put their name on a wine label, a Cabernet Sauvignon. They followed that up with their now-famed Petite Sirah and this is the second year they’ve produced a Zinfandel from their old, gnarly estate vines. Eight generations of know-how grace the fruit inside the bottle. And it shows.
The 2007 Epicenter Zin (gets it name from Lodi’s “center of zinfandel” reputation) is not a wine for those seeking light-hearted red wine. Burly, muscular, concentrated flavors don every drop. Ripe black cherry, blackberry, black pepper, vanilla and coconut define the experience but it also offers some feminine lavender and semisweet chocolate. Has a slightly sweet finish of bright fruit. Lots going on and sports a helluva lot of alcohol but you don’t really notice it. Delicious.
Sweetness: 2 out of 10
Rating: 4 stars
Occasion: Tasted at a wine bar in Atlanta
Food pairing: Fatty burgers, braised shortribs, bittersweet chocolate desserts
Availability: On restaurant wine lists and high-end retail.