Has anyone else bemoaned the lack of spiciness in Zinfandels these days?
I've always thought that spiciness was a necessary component of a great zin --
that black/white pepper or cayenne zing at the back of the mouth.
It often seems lost in the presence of ripe (over-ripe) fruit.
My great enjoyment of Zin in the past was characterized by two important "bookends":
The first was Zin's forward cherry fruit (not jammy) right smack at the beginning;
the second was the peppery zing at the end. Such a delicious difference
and contrast in flavors! All in one wine! It was as though one "traveled through"
the experience of Zinfandel, and the journey was clearly marked by these two signposts.
Now the fruit is often jammy and blackberry in nature -- not cherry -- and the wine
is less lively, less acidic, and without that critical spiciness. Yes, higher in alcohol too.
Do others feel similarly and are there recommendations for Zins with both "bookends"?