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As you probably know, we are great fans of the Zinfandel grape and the lovely elixirs it produces in capable wine-making hands. This month, the Wine Spectator devoted its cover article to Zinfandel and the telling point it makes, as we have been paraphrasing for years, is that the “outstanding” category for all red wines falls in the $69.00 range. The “outstanding” category for Zinfandel hovers at an average of $35.00. Even the mathematically challenged can see the evolving value of this varietal. Owing to summer weather, we will focus this Saturday on the less heavy Zins, keeping the selection to under $10.00. Later, in the fall, we will revisit Zinfandel with bottlings at the summit of perfection.
2007 Pedroncelli Zinfandel Rosé, Dry Creek Valley
Regular price 9.99; our price 7.99
This wine has a pretty ruby red color with aromas of strawberry and rose petal. In the mouth, the wine is lush, yet crisp and dry, with fresh raspberry and spicy vanilla flavors. Some black cherry and nectarine flavors emerge along the way in this crisp, enjoyable wine. Wine Spectator rating: 87 points and “top value”. DOUBLE GOLD,’07 San Francisco Int’l Wine & Spirits GOLD, 2007 Los Angeles Int’l Wine & Spirits.
2003 Echelon Zinfandel, Driving Range Vineyard, Contra Costa Co.
Regular price 9.99; our price 5.99
Echelon’s winery is located in San Miguel, in the heart of the Central Coast, near many of its vineyard sources. Nicely balanced, these impressive premium wines from the Chalone Group are easy on the palate and the budget. Vines in this vineyard are from 50 to 100 years of age. This bottling is more to the dry side of the spectrum, showing plums, blackberries and pepper.
2005 Renwood Zinfandel, Sierra Foothills
Regular price 11.69; our price 9.99
Something of a throwback to times past, this direct, medium-bodied, mildly berryish effort with 7% Petite Sirah 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. Rated: 86 by Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wines; GOOD VALUE”
2006 Gnarly Head Zinfandel, Old Vine, Lodi
Regular price 9.95; our price 8.99
Here is your perfect barbeque wine; works well with pizza, too. Robust berry flavors and exotic spice notes from the small grape clusters are balanced with French, American and Hungarian oak, which creates heady layers of vanilla and chocolate extending to a lingering finish.
2007 Gran Sasso Primitivo, Puglia, Italy
Regular price 14.50; our price 9.99
The winery is located in the region of Abruzzo, located in the central eastern part of Italy on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, but the grapes for this bottling were sourced in Puglia, in the south. Primitivo is the Italian version of Zinfandel, except that the Italians tend to pick earlier to preserve acidity and arrive at lower alcohol content. There are aromas of ripe fruit and star anise. The fruit is bright and crisp with some notes of earthiness and a good amount of chocolate and oak.
2006 Brazin Zinfandel, Old Vine, Lodi
Regular price 13.50 our price 9.99
The grapes for this wine come from head trained vines in older vineyards ranging from 35 to 80 years of age. This deeply colored wine has aromas of mocha and spice. Flavors of plums, chocolate, vanilla and mocha notes swarm the palate. This is a big wine showing off its long delicious finish.