Carey and I have always had a fondness for Tres Sabores.
A couple weeks before we were due in Napa for our honeymoon, two of our close family friends enjoyed their first visit to the Tres Sabores. It left such an impression that when we arrived at our hotel St. Helena, a bottle of their Zinfandel, Porqué No, was there waiting for us. Almost as impressive as the colorful, weighty glass bottle was an accompanying big, freshly clipped pomegranate (estate grown!), leaves and all, still hanging from its clipped branch.
I carried our exotic fruit around in my suitcase for the rest of the trip, not really knowing how to neatly bust it open in a hotel room. We got much enjoyment out of just having it as a travel companion. On our final night, I carefully concealed the pom (with limb) in the bottom of my luggage while Carey watched, confused.
C: Rob, are you trying to hide that?
R: Yes, do you think it will be ok? I wrapped it in some t-shirts. Do you think my bag will get searched?
C: We’re not going through customs, you’re allowed to have a pomegranate in your possession, would you be doing that to a banana?
R: I wasn’t sure if there were special rules were about exotics—post-911, and all.
The pom ended up making it all the way back to the east coast, brave little traveler. It came only one day later than both Carey and I, just in time for her to throw against a wall when she got let go on her first day back at work. [That didn't actually happen. But thank goodness the two cases of wine under the plane managed to make the connection. Screw clothes---sorry, hun.]
I’ve had the ’06 Porqué No a couple times in the last year. Something has changed—perhaps the wine, perhaps my palate. Most likely both. In my opinion, this wine has opened up tremendously since my last encounter. Any sharp edges or juvenile greenness, minimal as it may have been, is gone. Tannins rounded and sweetened, and the spice is kicking—Porqué No has matured brilliantly.
Tasting notes, 2006 ¿Porqué No?:
Rich ruby and brick colors in the glass—retains a bit of transparency. Wonderful clarity and polish. Stoney cherry, spicy plum, blueberry, and pomegranates (of course) accented by cinnamon and homemade paper on the nose.
Spice grips the mouth and holds. Alongside the rich fruit, the palate is dressed with brown sugar, soy, and ginger. Unexpected minerality reminiscent of cool, wet, rocks—I crave this in Zinfandel, but rarely encounter such a refreshing note. The fruit has grown in strength as well as cohesiveness. More vanilla than I remember, but hardly the result of being over-oaked, which it most certainly is not.
In a few words, I would describe the palate of this wine as complex, gourmet barbecue. There is a definite working relationship between unique schools of flavor. This is the direction I would like to see American Zinfandel producers take their wines—a nice blend of new and old. It plays a new tone based on a classic sound and adds a lot of spice.