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18 Delicious Zinfandels You Need to Try at ZAP

The 2014 ZAP Zinfandel Experience this year has a new format and a new location. The majority of events will be held at the scenic Presidio. And, rather than offering one massive, open hall of producers, this year’s main event is divided into three “tasting tracks,” each in a dedicated building. There will be Sensory Tasting, Reserve & Barrel Tasting, and Terroir Tasting. Each session lasts two hours so, if you wish, you can buy tickets for each session or spend six hours at one, etc.

Get More Info and Buy Tickets Here

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I like the idea of dividing things up into more manageable and organized sections. The Presidio is a lovely venue too. Parking there can be an issue though. Arrive early or use whatever public/event transit is available. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these changes and especially your reactions if you attend. I won’t be able to go to the main event so I’m relying on you for feedback.

Another change this year was moving the trade & media tasting to a separate day. It took place Wednesday at Rockwall Winery in Alameda. I think this was a good move overall as it made for a saner, more focused tasting. There weren’t as many producers available but there were still many more than anyone could get to within the three hours allotted. Letting media taste in advance also gives me the chance to mention some highlights for you to seek out on Saturday.

Here are my favorites from among the nearly 60 wines I tasted during the walk-around.

(In alphabetical order by producer)
2011 Beekeeper Zinfandel Madrone Vineyard, Rockpile - $65
Very focused with rich black fruit and spice. Fine, grippy tannins and a long finish. Highly Recommended

2012 Bedrock Wine Company Evangelho Heritage, Contra Costa - $35
Concentrated and pretty with dark cherries and spice. Highly Recommended

2012 Robert Biale Vineyards Zinfandel RW Moore Vineyard, Coombsville - $50
Fine, chalky tannins lend structure to this richly fruited wine with toasty wood and chocolate. Highly Recommended

2011 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Florence Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley - $35
Intense but balanced and showing a captivating melange of spice on top of ripe, dark berries. Very Highly Recommended

2011 Fields Family Zinfandel Old Vine Sherman Family Vineyard, Lodi - $24
Full-bodied and richly flavored with dark fruit, chocolate and a hint of dry herb. Highly Recommended

2012 Gamba Vineyards Zinfandel Estate Old Vine, Russian River Valley - $45
Luscious berries, chocolate and spice. Concentrated and smooth. Highly Recommended

2010 Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel, Napa Valley - $35
A delicious, complete wine with lovely texture and 3% Petite Sirah lending Chinese 5-spice aromatics. Highly Recommended

2010 Harney Lane Winery Zinfandel Old Vine Lizzy James Vineyard, Lodi - $35
The vines are a century old but don’t lack power. Fine tannins and a blend of spice, ripe dark fruit and chocolate. Highly Recommended

2011 Hendry Zinfandel Blocks 7 & 12, Napa Valley - $35
A study in texture with liquer-like fruit and “walk through the forest” aromatics. Highly Recommended

2011 Jeff Cohn Cellars Zinfandel Landy Sweetwater Springs, Russian River Valley - $38
A complex and romantic blend of spices plus rich, chocolatey fruit. Very Highly Recommended

2012 Jeff Cohn Cellars Impostor, California - $35
Chinese 5-spice, garrigue and assorted fruit with a cashmere mouthfeel. Highly Recommended

2010 McCay Cellars Zinfandel “Jupiter,” Lodi - $28
A creamy attack precedes fine, powdery tannins and harmonious flavors of black and red fruit, exotic spice and toasted hazelnut. Highly Recommended

2010 McCay Cellars Zinfandel “Equity,” Lodi - $32
Scrumptious, earthy fruit and sophisticated texture. Highly Recommended+

2010 McCay Cellars Zinfandel “Contention,” Lodi - $64
Gorgeous texture and a symphony of harmoniously integrated flavors. A Zinfandel to savor and think about over the course of an evening. Very Highly Recommended

2012 The Prisoner, Napa Valley - $40
A full-bodied and potent blend with earthy, dark red fruit, Chinese five-spice, licorice and more. Highly Recommended

2011 Ridge Zinfandel Lytton Springs, Dry Creek Valley - $38
The coolness of 2011 brings notes of dark flowers and pretty spice to the fore. Highly Recommended

2011 Tres Sabores Zinfandel Rutherford Estate, Napa Valley - $38
Lovely, elegant and even lower in alcohol than usual for Tres Sabores. Ripe, dark fruit, attractive spice and a chiffonnade of savory herb. Highly Recommended

2012 Turley Wine Cellars Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard, Lodi - $32
Full-bodied and creamy with fine, powdery tannins and a rich, tightly integrated blend of fruit flavors. Highly Recommended

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for wine news, information on events and more, or friend me on Facebook. This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2014. The ZAP Zinfandel Experience banner is the property of ZAP. All rights reserved.

Comments   

Jim Caudill
#1 Jim Caudill 2014-01-24 21:47
Fred, you missed A for Artezin, another terrific Zin for people to target!
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Ken Morris
#2 Ken Morris 2014-01-24 22:01
Fred, thanks for stopping by the table and glad that you enjoyed the Zin. Cheers!
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