Search Articles

Please Share

FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditTechnoratiLinkedin

Sponsors

Wine of the Day via RSS

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Wine of the Day

2008 Redwood Creek Zinfandel Lodi

The 2008 Redwood Creek Zinfandel Lodi has similar flavors to yesterday’s 2007 Ravenswood Zinfandel Sonoma County Old Vine, but is softer. Notes of black cherry, vanilla, chocolate and caramel are closely matched by the flavors: black cherry, vanilla, cocoa and berry. The body is medium plus but the tannins are moderate and fully integrated. Medium plus alcohol contributes to the body but didn’t generate heat. This wine will be fine with grilled or braised red meat but, with its gentle tannins, can work with grilled salmon or chicken too. The 2008 Redwood Creek Zinfandel Lodi is an easy-drinking Zinfandel at an easy price. Drink this year. Recommended.

2008-Redwood-Creek-Zinfandel-Lodi

2008 Redwood Creek Zinfandel Lodi
Rating: Recommended

Drink: 2011
Retail Price: $8.00

Blend: 78.1% Zinfandel, 7.9% Petite Sirah, 3.4% Grenache, 3% Rubired, 7.6% other
Origin: Lodi

Alcohol: 14.0%

The wines above were provided for review by the wineries. They were tasted blind in a flight of six without decanting.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it! Icons for popular sharing services are at the right above and also below.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2007 Ravenswood Zinfandel Sonoma County Old Vine

As today is the first official day of the 2011 Zinfandel Festival, we’ll make our wines of the day Zinfandel both today and tomorrow. I did a blind tasting of six Zinfandel wines recently. All were priced below $20. A range of regions were included: Sonoma County, Lodi, Napa Valley and “California.” Sadly, one of the wines was corked and couldn’t be evaluated. Of the remaining wines, there were two that I’m happy to recommend.

Today’s wine is the 2007 Ravenswood Zinfandel Sonoma County Old Vine. It has a nose of black cherry, black berry, vanilla and cinnamon. While it’s a dry wine, there is just a bit of sweetness on the palate. It is medium-plus in body with chalky tannins, somewhat prominent alcohol and a medium finish. Flavors include black cherry and oak-derived chocolate, cocoa and coconut. It’s a good and affordable representation of “modern” Zinfandel, neither shy nor overbearing. It will go well with most any grilled or braised red meat or pork, but won’t react well with highly spicy BBQ sauce. This Zinfandel has enough structure to hold a while, but why wait? Drink now through 2013. Recommended.

2007-Ravenswood-Zinfandel-Sonoma-County

2007 Ravenswood Zinfandel Sonoma County Old Vine
Rating: Recommended

Drink: Now through 2013
Retail Price: $16.00

Blend: 76% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, 8% Mixed Blacks
Origin: Sonoma County

Aging: 18 months in 100% French oak, 30% new

Alcohol: 15.0%

Closure: Cork

The wines above were provided for review by the wineries. They were tasted blind in a flight of six without decanting.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it! Icons for popular sharing services are at the right above and also below.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2007 Sausal Winery Zinfandel Century Vines Alexander Valley Sonoma County

Once grape vines reach a certain age, their yield begins to decrease. The age at which this occurs depends on the variety, as does the degree to which lesser productivity may be seen as a good thing. Generally, lower yield means that the vine puts more focus — delivering more concentration and more flavor — into the grapes it does produce. If you’re looking to make light, cheerfully fruity wine you don’t want old vines. But if your goal is complex and densely-flavored Syrah or Zinfandel, old vines are just the ticket.

As a consumer, it’s hard to know what “old vines” or “ancient vines” means. Old is relative and wineries sometimes use the term loosely. Some start calling their vines old after 25 years or less. Sausal Winery is more explicit. They call their flagship Zinfandel “Century Vines” because the vines from which its grapes come were all planted more than one-hundred years ago. [Soon, Sausal will be able to call the wine “Century-and-a-Half Vines.” There is a survey of the area from 1877 that proves the vines in question were there then. Nobody knows how long prior to that they were planted.]

What matters in the end, though, is the quality of the wine in the bottle. The 2007 Sausal Winery Zinfandel Century Vines is really good. It’s dark ruby in color with aromas of briary dark berry, spicy plum and raspberry leaf that waft your way from the glass. The wine shows excellent balance on the palate between fruit tannins, alcohol, rich flavor and food friendly acidity. Unlike many contemporary Zinfandels, the fruit is not overwhelmed by oak. The primary flavor is rich, juicy black cherry with chocolate accents.

The 2007 Sausal Century Vines Zinfandel isn’t a cocktail wine — thick and sweet and spirity. It’s a traditional Zinfandel, a wine meant to go with a meal. Try it with a medium-rare filet mignon or braised lamb shanks. Drink now through 2016. Highly Recommended.

2007-Sausal-Century-Vines-Zinfandel

2007 Sausal Winery Zinfandel Century Vines Alexander Valley Sonoma County
Rating: Highly Recommended

Drink: Now through 2016

Retail Price: $40
Blend: 100% Zinfandel (estate)

Alcohol: 14.7%
Closure: Cork

If you enjoyed this article, please share it! Icons for popular sharing services are at the right above and also below.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2006 Story Winery Zinfandel Picnic Hill Vineyard Amador County

Story Winery is a Zinfandel specialist based in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley, just north of the town of Plymouth. They offer nearly twenty different wines, the majority of which are Zinfandel. Jan Tichenor, who owns Story Winery with her husband Bruce, tells me that all of their wines are made from dry-farmed, estate fruit and are bottled unfined and unfiltered. Picnic Hill Vineyard, the oldest of the estate vineyards, dates back more than a century. The wine made from that location is their flagship.

The 2006 Story Winery Zinfandel Picnic Hill Vineyard Amador County is ruby with an attractive nose of very dark fruit, mostly cherry and blackberry, accented by tobacco and oak-derived spice. On the palate, slight sweetness, high alcohol and robust, drying tannins result in a full body that starts out creamy and starts to dry out at mid-palate. Flavors largely echo the nose with juicy black cherry, blackberry, sweet spice and cocoa. Drinking the wine by itself results in a finish of medium length due to the tannins. However, consumed with a well-marbled rib-eye steak and a side of mac & cheese, the tannins should smooth out  extending the finish. The 16% alcohol will be a factor in food pairing, so robustly flavored food without hot spices will be best. This is a good example of mountain Zinfandel and quite tasty. Drink now through 2014. Recommended.

2006 Story Winery Zinfandel Picnic Hill Vineyard Amador County
Rating: Recommended

Drink: Now through 2014
Retail Price: $25
Blend: 100% Zinfandel

Alcohol: 16%
Closure: Cork

2006-Story-Picnic-Hill-Zin

At the September 19 Sierra Foothills tasting at the Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, I was able to try three other Story Winery wines and can happily recommend them as well, though you may have difficulty finding them.
2006 Story Winery Barbera - Juicy fruit but good acidity as well. A good food wine. (Only 3 cases remain and they are being held for the library.)
2006 Story Winery Creekside Zinfandel, $23 - Zinfandel in the happy, fruity style. Good for picnics or with a Thanksgiving turkey. (Readily available at the winery and their online store.)
2008 Story Winery Primitivo - (Not yet released, but if you ask for it they’ll sell it to you.)

This wine was received as a review sample. The first bottle I received from the winery was faulty. The review above is based solely upon the second bottle I received. Other Story wines upon which I comment were tasted at a public tasting of Sierra Foothills wines, hence my lack of detailed notes.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it! Icons for popular sharing services are at the right above and also below.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check outour comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2008 Blackstone Zinfandel Winemaker’s Select California

The 2008 Blackstone Zinfandel Winemaker’s Select is solid yet inexpensive wine that is worthy of serious consideration for your backyard BBQs or “pizza and a movie” nights. It offers engaging scents of strawberry, cherry, cola and wood. The flavors are juicy black cherry with subtle hints of caramel and vanilla. Alcohol content is a reasonable 13.5%. The smooth tannins and acidity are well-balanced. It is a Zinfandel that will hold up to grilled and smoky flavors but not overwhelm the potato salad. Drink now through 2011. Recommended.

08-Blackstone-Zinfandel-Winemakers-Select-CA

2008 Blackstone Zinfandel Winemakers Select California
Rating: Recommended

Drink: Now through 2011
Retail Price: $12
Blend: 85% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 5% Syrah
Appellations: 77% Paso Robles, 14% Santa Barbara County, 5% Monterey County, 4% Carmel Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Closure: Synthetic Cork

This wine was received as a review sample.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it! Icons for popular sharing services are at the right above and also below.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check outour comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.