COSTCO SERIES #4: 2013 Opolo Vineyards Summit Creek Zinfandel

I am pretty impressed I am actually writing on consecutive weeks!  I hope you all appreciate the hardship I endure to bring you blog posts this frequently.  I end up having to drink a bottle of wine sometimes 3 or 4 nights a week to do so.  It’s a rough job, but I do it all for my faithful readers.

This week I wanted to bring out another Costco wine.  I am not sure the spread of this one through all Costcos, but it is at least in the lower half of California.  The 2013 Opolo Vineyards Summit Creek Zinfandel cost me a hefty $10, if memory serves.  Let’s dig in.

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Zinfandels are tough for me.  I have had good ones, but nothing that really ever changed my life.  The grape certainly produces quality wines, that is to say, there is nothing inherently wrong with the varietal itself.  Every time I have one I always find myself somewhat afraid of them.  I will drink and enjoy them but my time between sips i find myself racked with anxiety about my next sip knowing that it’s a powerful wine that is going to slap me across the face and call me Sally.  I am Private Joker and Zinfandels are Gunny Sergeant Hartman.  Call me whatever you want, but I don’t like scary movies, I don’t want to ride a motorcycle, I have no interest in skydiving, and I want drinking wine to be a relaxing experience and not a UFC in my mouth.

That being the case I thought I’d be safer with a larger production, inexpensive wine.  Generally, they aren’t nearly as bold as some producers that specialize in Zin.  This wine was shockingly full-bodied.  It is a pretty high alcohol percentage and also very young and because of this is was pretty hot to drink.  It had that burn in the mouth that only booze can give you; it hurts so good.  There was some of the spicy character that big reds possess, but not the rich dark fruit flavors to go along with it.  Perhaps it had them but they were completely overwhelmed by the spice and alcohol.  It also had this strange meaty, brown sugary taste at the end of it.  It’s possible that drinking this with the right cut of red meat might make it work, but as a stand alone flavor it is a bit odd. This is sounding like I hated the wine, which wasn’t the case.  I actually found it to be a drinkable wine but there wasn’t anything complex about it.  This wine is a total C student.  It might go to junior college so it’s parents will continue to pay it’s car insurance, but we all know it’s never quitting it’s job at Target.

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Overall, I found it to be of better quality than I would have expected for the price tag.  If you are a Zinfandel fan, or just a big red drinker then I would say to give it a try.  Anymore, I lean toward the more delicate reds unless the meal absolutely calls for a heavy red.  I can’t really think of anything in this price range that I would recommend that has a similar style.  Because of this, I have to say it’s a good buy.  People have told me that they love this wine.  I can’t see ever loving this wine but I can see how people would really like it.  To sum up, I give it a solid vote of, “on the fence.”

Be well.

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