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label Fetzer (California) Valley Oaks Zinfandel 1998
This seems to be a new product from Fetzer, whose Oak Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and Home Ranch Zinfandel are both previous Wines of the Week. The Oak Valley Zin is aged in small French and American oak barrels, which add a sweet creaminess to the peppery Zinfandel fruit. The colour is a deep cherry red, and the nose is beautifully deep and spicy, with rich, warm, winter berries and a sweet jamminess of fruit. On the palate it is very punchy and fresh, notes of blackberry, raspberry and a peppery edge. There is good ripeness and a lovely support from integrated oak adding cream to the texture and a tobacco spice to the finish. Balance is perfect, with good acidity and lovely purity, power and fruit firmed by sweet tannins. Let it breathe for a couple of hours first. UK stockist: Majestic/Oddbins/Safeway/Thresher/Europa 6.99