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We are starting the new year with one of our most favorite varietals. Zinfandel can be vinified in many different styles from rosés to ports. This Saturday we will concentrate on those that are medium bodied to full bodied. Please remember that we have a tasting event every Saturday, even though I will be away for a couple of weeks on vacation. On Saturday the 10th, Garvey Daniels of American Wines and Spirits will be pouring and discussing his wines. On Saturday the 17th, Paul Chatterton of Wine Warehouse Distributors will be pouring the wines of Napa based Marilyn Merlot and Norma Jean. The 24th will be a bit of a surprise as I will have just returned; but I’ll keep it interesting.
Happy New Year, all!
2006 Four Vines Zinfandel, Old Vine Cuvee
The wine is aged in small French and American oak barrels adding an interesting spice element to the berry fruit. On the nose the wine has layers of berry fruit and anise aromas with hints of spice. On the palate, it shows blackberry and spicy plum fruit with a rich mouth feel trailing to a velvety toasted oak finish.
2005 Renwood Zinfandel, Sierra Foothills
This wine was given an 86-point rating by Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wines: “Something of a throwback to times past, this direct, medium-bodied, mildly berryish effort eschews all of the riper imperatives of latter-day Zin. It may not be a wine of great size or extract, but it is fruity and fairly well-balanced, and, more importantly still, it is priced for everyday drinking. GOOD VALUE” Included in the blend is 7% Petite Sirah for added panache.
2006 Joel Gott Zinfandel, California
The 2006 vintage of Joel Gott Zinfandel just received a 90-point rating from Robert Parker! It is a rare red wine gem that has steadily built a following over its first 7 vintages. This Zinfandel is considered by some “the poor man’s Turley” because of its astonishing quality-to-price ratio. The new 2006 vintage of Joel Gott Zinfandel is a blend of 96% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah and 1% Alicante Bouchet, combining grapes from Napa, Sonoma, Lodi and Amador. It is of medium/full in body, bright and assertive with soft tannins and bold flavors of black cherries, raspberries, plums, maple and spice.
2006 Alexander Valley Vineyards “Sin Zin”
From Robert Parker’s Value Issue : “Easily Alexander Valley Vineyards’ best known wine, the ‘Sin Zin’ is a hedonistic affair year in and year out.” (Aug. 2008) Tons of boysenberry and strawberry fruit on the nose and palate, backed by fresh ground black pepper notes, the 2006 is more concentrated and rich than previous vintages with the addition of a small amount of zinfandel from the Dry Creek Valley.”
2005 Sausal Winery Zinfandel, Private Reserve
This wine was made from estate fruit and vines averaging 90 years of age. It is deep and dark in both color and fruit characteristics. It benefits from a solid hour in the decanter. Once it’s opened up, dark plum and blackberry notes accompanied by cedar and subtle vanilla fill the nose. The age of the vines is apparent in how well layered and complex is the fruit. The dark fruit notes carry through to the finish joined by mocha, spice and earth. Good acidity and a solid tannic structure keep this wine balanced.
2006 Four Vines Zinfandel, Biker, Paso Robles
The Dusi and Preston Zin vineyards, with their rocky, calcareous soils, grow low yield vines, producing fruit of intense concentration. A splash of Mourvedre lends an extra kick in the mid-palate. The Biker has blackberry, anise spice and vanilla on the nose. Rich, black fruit and spice, lingering to a silky vanilla oak finish. This is Four Vines’ biggest wine.