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Pepperwood Grove (California) Zinfandel 1997
Quite a rich, full ruby colour. The nose has a mass of cream and berries, a touch of pepper. The palate displays good fruit with a dark plum and plum-skin bitterness, cherry and a grippy tannic edge. This has some real substance and is filled-out with a deft layer of oak. Nice balance and length. Pepperwood Grove is a negociant, buying-in fruit or batches of wine to blend for its commercial, but quality range. The Zinfandel has been a big seller since winning a gold at last year's International Wine Challenge. This is presumably a new batch, but is very nice stuff that doesn't appear to have been hashed together to cash in on that success. UK Stockists: Victoria Wine, Peckhams (Scotland) 5.99