Agent for Change Zinfandel 2006

Lovely, sweet, fruit-cake rich, with warm cocoa notes and candied fruit peel on the nose, this smells very much like a good, standard quality Paso zin; somehow, however, the alcohol has gone missing alone the way, resulting in a hole in the nose where the painful alcohol hit should’ve been, replaced instead by a label declaring this is only 13.5% abv, making me wonder if someone’s hiding a spinning cone around here or what…Still, what a love nose. Very soft and plush, it reminds me of  cru Beaujolais mixed with Angostura bitters, with slight hard earthy edges pushed up against the sweet red fruits. The palate doesn’t disappoint either, with simple, cheery red fruits ‘n berries served up on a nicely toasty background. Still, though, it seems to lack some of the weight I’d normally associate with zinfandel – or, rather, with higher alcohol levels. It all finishes relatively simply, and it seems like there’s something missing there too – either acidity or alcohol – but still: it’s a minor complaint. On the whole, this is good stuff – especially if you’re not a fan of one-glass-and-you’re-blotto California monster zinfandel. Most of what makes them good is still here, but you could actually consider finishing the bottle with your partner on a school night without worrying about the morning after.Bonus marketing spin: a portion of the sales price of every bottle goes to non-profit organizations of some kind. I’m cynical enough not to particularly care about that – I mean, if I honestly cared, I’d just write a check to the Avon Foundation and go buy a cheap bottle of wine – but honestly, why not? You’re probably not going to find a better Zin for this money, so you might as well go for it.Full disclosure: I received this wine as a press sample.Agent for Change
Price: $14
Closure: Cork
Source: Sample

2 thoughts on “Agent for Change Zinfandel 2006

  1. Greetings, thank you for your positive notes about our inaugural release of a wine that we hope will make a difference. The idea of conscious consumerism is gaining steam, and Agent for Change is committed to giving back. With regard to your questions, as the winemaker I can tell you the TA is 5.88 and I did not de-alc the wine. Rather, we’ve created relationships with vineyards in the south/coastal areas of Paso and we pick earlier, rather than later. Our preference is to strive for balance, rather than the too much mascara version of oaked ethanol sweet juice. It’s a heretical idea, but we do it with our Cab program too. Cheers to wines that belong on the table rather than the martini glass.

    • Heretical? Definitely. 🙂

      I’ll be honest: I didn’t like this as much as I do, say, Ridge Dusi Ranch zinfandel, which is presumably made not too far way from this wine. It’s more alcohol – usually 14.5%, if memory serves – and it just seems, I don’t know, better integrated than this. That being said, I know there are definitely folks out there that don’t aren’t fans of higher alcohol wines, and I think it’s great that someone is going that route. I’m just not convinced that picking early is necessarily the best way to go with fruit from this region, but thank God someone is trying something different instead of trotting yet another overly alcoholic monster.

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