Studies indicate that the grape used for making California Zinfandel probably originated in Croatia (who would have thought?). Historians believe that in the 1820s, a nursery owner brought Zinfandel cuttings that were Croatian in origin to the United States from an Austrian collection. The Zinfandel name, however, is truly American; the Croatian name is Crljenak Kastelanski, and in Italy it is called Primitivo. Zinfandel was introduced to California during the Gold Rush somewhere between 1852 and 1857 and became widely planted because it thrived so well in the state’s climate and soil. Today, Zinfandel is the third-leading wine grape variety in California, with more than 44,400 acres planted.
2012 Chatom Vineyards Zinfandel, Calaveras County
List price 15.00; Our price 12.50
Located in the heart of "Gold Country" in the Sierra Foothills Appellation, the winery and property were recently sold. New owner, Matthew Hatcher of Hatcher Winery will continue the label in addition to his own wines. In fact, we are trying to get Matt to join us here, soon. After letting the bottle open up for a bit you will discover very juicy, blackberry notes with a bit of spice. It does pair well with goat cheeses and grilled meats.
2016 Decoy Zinfandel, Sonoma County
List price 22.00; Our price 19.99
With an abundance of wild blackberry and strawberry flavors, as well as layers of violet and fresh-cracked black pepper, this well-balanced Zinfandel offers silky tannins and mouth-filling richness. The finish is lush and elegant, very typical of Sonoma County Zinfandel. There is 7% Petite Sirah in the bottle.
2016 Pezzi King Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley
List price 24.00; Our price 19.99
Ken and Diane Wilson specialize in Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels. Some years after starting Wilson Winery they purchased Pezzi King Vineyards to expand the production of small quantities of high-end, handcrafted wines. The Wilsons are also the owners of Mazzocco Sonoma, another fine winery producing excellent Zin.
2015 Wilson Winery, Sonoma County
List price 23.50; Our price 19.99
Rich aromas of evenly matched spice and fruit come forward, with eucalyptus and toasty wood trailing along. The palate opens with a burst of blackberries, offering up a fruity, silky mouth-feel. The worthy tannin structure, often missing in this varietal, harmoniously balances with the acidity level, making this a very vibrant wine. The long-lasting fruit and spice finish offers a scrumptious end. It is the Best of Class Winner at the 2018 Sonoma County Harvest Fair.
2014 Earthquake Zinfandel, Lodi
List price 24.00; Our price 19.99
Always a favorite here, this wine received 90 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine: " Superrich aromas and deep saturated fruit and oak flavors make this extremely-full-bodied wine hard to resist. It has spicy smoky beefy aromas, nearly sweet flavors of dried plums, dates and blackberry jam and a mouth-coating texture that leads to a lingering finish."
1994 Chateau Souverain Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley
There is a lot of argument as to how well Zinfandel will age. Much of the determining factors depend on how the wine is vinified. Generally, the wineries that go for power, accompanied by high alcohol levels, are looking to satisfy their customers in the near term. Zins that are produced in a more balanced style will show better after 10 or 20 years. This wine approaching a quarter century of age is one of only two bottles from our collection and at 13.6% alcohol should prove interesting.
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