2018 Zinfandel by Caddis Wines, Sonoma

Tonight’s Occasion: 2018 Zinfandel by Caddis Wine, Sonoma Valley, CA

Purple, semi opaque color. Out of the bottle a firm, tart, black plum greets the nose. As it breathes, this turns slightly ripe. Slightly ripe dark cherries and boysenberry emerge atop a soft faint butterscotch underlayment. This progression continues, ripening, slowly adding sweeter notes until it finally reveals both its identity, Zinfandel and sense of place, Sonoma in the form of a raisin and loamy, earthy leather both so faint you’d likely miss them.

Smooth buttery tannins smother the palate in the form of crisp plum and berry skins accompanied by crisp caramel. These conspire to create a soft, slightly viscous mouth feel. Interestingly, it’s acidity that usually greets the palate first but the opposite is true here. Midway through, a slightly dry tartness re-balances the body. A gentle spice heat emerges, intensifying as it transitions to finish. The palate is rendered dry, with a gentle tannic grit and plums and berries fully ripen. At this stage the spice heat has made it farther down, warming the chest.

This is a clean, classy execution for a Zinfandel. A varietal better known for its brute, brash, and often off-balance expression, this winemaker has made a handsome, gentleman’s wine of it. If you are in the Sonoma area, I highly recommend stopping by the understated tasting room and taking a look at Chris’ work. You will be pleasantly surprised at the quality of his wines and tickled by just how artisan and limited (79 cases) his wines are. Truly special. Nicely done Chris!

Explore more Caddis Wine on WineSnob.

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