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Wine Spectator Reviews 2012 Smoke and Mirrors
91 points from The Wine Spectator for our 2012 Smoke and Mirrors? Score: 91 Refreshingly quirky, this offers ripe cherry and spicy nut bread aromas, leading to zesty dried blackberry, cracked pepper and licorice flavors that linger toward ripe tannins. Zinfandel, Syrah, Grenach...

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Tasting Notes Archive

2008 The Impostor

“After nearly two years your favorite Wine Spectator Top 100 wine is back! If you loved the 2007 ‘Impostor’ we are certain you will adore the 2008 vintage. You don’t have to wonder what’s behind the façade of this wine; we’ll let you in on the secret. The blend has changed a bit this time around, but the same 1% Viognier is the secret to producing an intriguing and delightful quaff.” – Jeff Cohn

Tasting Notes

The 2008 Impostor is as loaded as a wine can get. Full of over-the-top dark fruits and mysterious aromatics of spiced plum, wild game, graphite and dried currant. It gains depth and traction on the finish with complex minerality and chewy tannin.

Varietals: 39% Zinfandel, 29% Syrah, 22% Petite Sirah, 4% Tempranillo, 3% Carignan, 2% Grenache, 1% Viognier
Appellation: California
Alcohol: 15.5%
Production: 1,171 cases

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 An eccentric and fun drinking experience, with aromas of huckleberry, smoke and fruitcake leading to zesty, powerful blackberry, cracked pepper and licorice flavors. The tannins sneak in on the finish. Zinfandel, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Roussanne. Drink now through 2020. 1,200 cases made. 90 Pts–TF

2010 The Impostor

91 Points

Loaded with fruit and personality, this offers aromas of spicy cinnamon and smoky wild berry that lead to ripe, jammy and layered flavors of raspberry and toasty vanilla. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Viognier. Drink now through 2020. 1,080 cases made.—T.F

"Exotic and altogether distinctive, with aromas of smoky black cherry and asian spice that lead to rich, lush flavors of huckleberry and date bread. Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Vigonier. Drink now through 2017."— T.F

JC CELLARS The Impostor California 2008 Score: 91 | $35 Rich and exotic, but complex and well-focused. Aromas of blackberry and smoky charcuterie lead to layered and ultraripe flavors of boysenberry, toasty caramel and Asian spices. Appealingly distinctive. Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, Carignane, Grenache and Viognier. Drink now through 2015. 1,200 cases made. —T.F.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 91 points

The 2008 Imposter Proprietary Red (39% Zinfandel, 29% Syrah, 22% Petite Sirah and the rest Tempranillo and Carignan) has turned out brilliantly. An earthy, peppery, spicy nose is followed by a dense purple-colored wine exhibiting blueberries, black raspberries, cherries and loamy soil underbrush-like notes. This Provencal-styled red can be drunk over the next 3-4 years.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 94 points

Fortunately, there is enough of the 2007 The Imposter (a 659-case blend of 32% Petite Sirah, 31% Syrah, 30% Zinfandel, 5% Mourvedre, and 2% Viognier) that some readers may be able to latch on to a few bottles. Its inky/purple hue is followed by a wine with dense, full-bodied flavors, along with notes of graphite, creme de cassis, blackberries, pepper, and camphor. This beauty should drink well for 7-8 years.

We are excited to share the news that a great honor was bestowed upon us as the Wine Spectator revealed JC Cellars 2005 The Impostor as wine number 52 of the Top 100 wines of the year.
As exotic as it is potent, with deep blackberry liqueur, sandalwood and wild game aromas and rich, ripe cassis, blueberry and licorice flavors that power on toward the bold, spicy finish. Zinfandel, Mourvédre, Petite Syrah and Syrah. Drink now through 2012. Tasted twice with consistent notes. 1,143 cases made.
Its curious moniker suggests that this wine is somehow not what it seems, but there is little doubt that big Zin it is, and it is very much driven by ripeness. It leads with concentrated aromas of sweet berries, briar and cream, and it follows on with ripe berry flavors that are generously filled out with oak. Very rich, but at the same time just a touch heavy, it has the extract needed to hide its high alcohols, and it avoids the common big-Zin pitfalls of coarseness and heat.