Winery/Vineyard: Lorenzi Estate
Product/Varietal: Zinfandel-Based Proprietary Red Blend
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Don Lorenzi
93/100 from Patrick Bartlett.
90/100 from Wine Enthusiast.
5 of 5 stars (user rating) on Wine Searcher.
88/100 on CellarTracker.
4.5 of 5 stars on Vivino (all vintages).
92/100 on Tastings.com (2014 vintage).
94/100 from Wine Enthusiast (2009 vintage).
How They Describe It
The Catalyst blend put Lorenzi Estate on the map with earlier vintages bringing in 90 points or better wine scores. As a wine reviewer with a firmly established Old World palate, this wine is my darling. The nose pulls you in with spicy blueberries and rose petals. The silky mouthfeel of this blend simply sets you up to embrace the dark notes that follow. There is a wonderful meatiness that shows up mid-palates thanks to the Syrah and the black tea leaves and graphite on the finish give this wine amazing depth and length in the finish. Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot confirm the Lorenzi Estate love of French varietals and is a blend that sets the bar in Temecula. — Patrick Bartlett
How I Describe It
Medium-pale in color intensity, the Lorenzi 2016 Catalyst shows a primarily ruby red hue, though some garneting is visible. Some Bordeaux varietals are fairly prone to oxydation, so perhaps that played a role in the color change.
Plum, blueberry, vanilla, and lavender come across most prominently on the Lorenzi 2016 Catalyst. This beautiful bouquet is bolstered with hints of graphite, charcoal, raspberry, and brioche. Wisps of eucalyptus, spearmint, and black pepper speak to the terroir and blended varietals.
Sweet dried cherries and cranberries mingle with stewed plum, framed by flint and gravel, charcoal, vanilla, and cold brew coffee. Herbal and herbaceous elements make an appearance with eucalyptus, green olive, rosemary, and tobacco. Pronounced blueberry and subtle black pepper carry through on the finish.
The Catalyst’s 2016 vintage is dry, and at 14.5% ABV alcohol is high. Nicely balanced medium-plus acid blends well with medium-plus tannins, creating a full-bodied wine with medium-plus flavor intensity. Finish length is medium-plus.
Why is This Wine Special?
There are a handful of red varietals which grow particularly well in the Temecula Valley AVA, and when managed well create truly special wines. Syrah is one of the varietals at the top of my list. One of the others is Zinfandel. That is to say, Temecula winemakers who make Zinfandel well produce truly remarkable wines.
Like other high-scoring Zinfandel blends, the Lorenzi 2016 Catalyst possesses an enchanting bouquet of aromas which are difficult to find elsewhere. The smells are practically a stand-alone experience.
Another outstanding characteristic of Don Lorenzi’s flagship red blend is how his varietal choices have a long breathing time. While you’re best off opening the bottle at least 90 minutes before drinking, it also means the bottle will taste great the next day (if not even better than the night before).
Lorenzi Estate sets a high bar as a Temecula Valley AVA producer, and the 2016 Catalyst is a strong display of their consistent quality.
When & How I Would Drink It
The Lorenzi 2016 Catalyst is the kind of wine you open for special occasions — and which you hang on to until then. Zinfandel, Syrah, and Bordeaux varietals are known for their ageworthiness, so you can surely stow this wine away knowing it will improve over time.
As for opening a bottle, take a deep sniff and sip only when you have the time to truly explore the depth of aromas and flavors. You won’t regret it.
When pairing with food, pour this next to dishes you would serve for special occasions. For instance, filet mignon or prime rib are best as far as proteins go. Savory truffle risotto would complement the wine’s natural herbiness. And if you desire to sip with dessert, stick to dark chocolate.
How to Get It
Order Online: https://lorenziestatewines.com/product/2016-catalyst/
Bottle Price: $95.00 (discounts for wine club members
Cases Produced: 140 cases
Have you tried the Lorenzi 2016 Catalyst? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.