More Candor: Zinfandel Lot 2

candorI’ve written recently about the wines coming from the Hope Family Winery in Paso Robles, California: Or more specifically, from second-generation winemaker Austin Hope. I tasted and enjoyed his Troublemaker Lot 2 and Candor Merlot Lot 2, so my last tasting project was his Candor Zinfandel Lot 2.

I’ve probably written in previous posts about my taste in Zinfandel: I gotta admit I’m fussy. I don’t enjoy the over-ripe, overly-raisiny, and overly-alcoholic Zins. That style typically comes out of warm-climate appellations such as Lodi, which is why I’ve always gravitated to Paso Robles Zinfandels. This wonderful wine region has warm to hot daytime temperatures, but the mercury plummets in the late afternoon as cool ocean breezes come rushing through the Templeton Gap. That creates ideal conditions for Rhone varietals like Syrah, and for my kind of Zin.

I’m guessing that Austin Hope has the same kind of palate. Their website says that, “This wine benefits from a combination of hardy, gnarly old vines, some of them over 50 years old, and exuberant new at Austin Hope Wines, all meticulously farmed. Blended together across vineyards and vintages, Candor Zinfandel has real panache—bright berry fruit, spice, and that undefinable zing that says it’s really Zinfandel.”

Here’s my experience with Candor Zin: I had a bottle handy when we had some big steaks ready for the grill. I wouldn’t usually pick a Zin to accompany a steak, but hey, what the hell! We served up the rare steaks (marinated in Jack Daniels, no less) and poured Austin Hope’s Zin.

And it was fabulous. This Zin has nice blueberry and blackberry fruit, with enough structure to handle red meat. The wine was bold enough to match the beef, and never got too “jammy.”

I admit that I was pleasantly surprised. “If this is Paso Zin, bring it on!”

Both the Candor Zin and Candor Merlot show great quality and value. I’d suggest you try them, and keep and eye on winemaker Austin Hope. Cheers!



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One Response to “More Candor: Zinfandel Lot 2”

  • Eza:

    Thanks for the review. I hate to be told what I am going to taste. We alyaws like to think up the most extreme aromas when we sniff a wine for the first time and we get quite ridiculous—diesel fumes, diesel fumes from an old metro bus that has been painted day-glo colors, pencil lead, pencil lead shaving from your elementary classroom’s manual sharpening. I wonder what we would have sniffed with this zin?

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