The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.
User avatar
User

Robin Garr

Rank

Forum Janitor

Posts

20023

Joined

Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm

Location

Louisville, KY

Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Robin Garr » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:58 am

Zinfandel! Call it Zin, Primitivo, Tribidrag, Crljenak Kaštelanski, Plavac Mali ... This remarkable grape that found its way from Croatia to Italy and America (and, now, to Australia and beyond) comes in a variety of styles, although ‘big fruit” tends to be a common descriptor. Whether you love it for its march to the beat of a different drummer or approach it with skepticism, we hope you’ll take a moment this month to open a bottle or two, share your thoughts, and - especially - alert us to the exceptional bottles and the great QPR.

Long considered a “mystery grape” because its ancestry was lost, perhaps clouded by the 19th century Barnum-style hype troweled on by Agoston Haraszthy, Zin his recently been reunited with its ancestors thanks to dogged research and DNA detective work in recent years by Dr. Carole Meredith and others.

Here’s a good article in English from a Croatian wine site that sums up in fairly simple terms the search to pin down Zin’s historic ancestry.
https://winesofcroatia.wordpress.com/tag/tribidrag/
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

26911

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm

Location

Connecticut

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by David M. Bueker » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:57 am

The 2012 Ridge Lytton Springs was absolutely luscious last night. I am sure it will age well, but no idea how I will keep my hands off.
Democracy dies in the darkness
no avatar
User

JC (NC)

Rank

Lifelong Learner

Posts

6670

Joined

Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:23 pm

Location

Fayetteville, NC

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by JC (NC) » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:20 pm

I will open two or three Zins this month--probably none before next week.
User avatar
User

Paul Winalski

Rank

Wok Wielder

Posts

4666

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:16 pm

Location

Merrimack, New Hampshire

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Paul Winalski » Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:24 am

Why is it that nearly all of the zins that I see have such outrageously high alcohol levels?

-Paul W.
no avatar
User

John Treder

Rank

Zinaholic

Posts

1833

Joined

Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:03 pm

Location

Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by John Treder » Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:05 pm

Most Dry Creek Vineyard Zins in my cellar are about 14.5% alcohol, and they're readily available most places.
My Nalle Zins are 12.8% to 13.7%. Small production.
My Yoakim Bridge Zins are 14.5%. Dry farmed, old vines. Only available from the winery.
Most Ridge Zins are in the 14.5% range.

They aren't all bruisers.
John in the wine county
no avatar
User

JC (NC)

Rank

Lifelong Learner

Posts

6670

Joined

Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:23 pm

Location

Fayetteville, NC

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by JC (NC) » Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:11 pm

I've had Joseph Swan Zins at 14.1% abv. I've also had Robert Biale Zins north of 15% abv. but tasting balanced.
no avatar
User

John Treder

Rank

Zinaholic

Posts

1833

Joined

Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:03 pm

Location

Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by John Treder » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:42 pm

I agree, JC, Zins can go up a bit in alcohol and have good balance. I've never really enjoyed a 16% Zin, and I've tasted a number of them.
John in the wine county
no avatar
User

John Treder

Rank

Zinaholic

Posts

1833

Joined

Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:03 pm

Location

Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by John Treder » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:48 pm

I'm finishing up a bottle of David Coffaro "My Zin" '12. Well balanced, yet a bit high on alcohol, which will show tonight on the third day. It's 75% Zin, 15% Petite Sirah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It's very much in the Coffaro rather lush style. A pleasant quaff at $13 after club discount.
John in the wine county
no avatar
User

Carl Eppig

Rank

Our Maine man

Posts

4234

Joined

Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:38 pm

Location

Middleton, NH, USA

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Carl Eppig » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:32 pm

2010 Tobin James, Reserve, Paso Robles Primitivo ($38 list, Alcohol level 14.5%). There are nine vineyards in the Paso appellation that grow the Primitivo clone. This wine is a blend of three of them. This is a most unusual TJ Reserve. It does not knock you out of your socks. At a low alcohol level for any Zin type these days, it drinks easily. It shows great fruit upfront and in the middle, and has a delicious spicy and peppery finish. We enjoyed it the first night with pasta in fresh tomato sauce, and broiled Italian sausages; and the second night with smoked St Louis ribs in BBQ sauce. The wine complemented both dishes.
no avatar
User

Brian K Miller

Rank

Passionate Arboisphile

Posts

9186

Joined

Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:05 am

Location

Northern California

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Brian K Miller » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:26 pm

2013 Kenwood Reserve (Dry Creek Valley) Zinfandel.

This was quite nice. On the earthy, even savior side of Zinfandel, with some dark plum fruit. Very quaffable!
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
no avatar
User

Jim Grow

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

1066

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:31 pm

Location

Rockbridge Ohio

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Jim Grow » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:08 pm

2010 Elyse Morisoli Vnyd. Zinfandel: my only Zinfandel and I have another case coming soon of 2011. Black/ruby with ruby at the edge, I really admire the balance and restraint of this wine. There is plenty of black raspberry and a bit of plum but all is held in check by good but not bracing acidity.

As an aside, I really got into red wine with a 1976 Ch. Montelena Zin back in mid-90's that I picked up in Ft. Wayne, Indiana for a mere $10/bottle, of which I bought two, (all they had), one of my first WOW wines. They were so complex (think leather and cedar) and smooth/balanced that I can still wax on about them. I do not have the patience to lay down a zin for that long now but I can imagine many are capable of such a profound transformation.
User avatar
User

Jenise

Rank

FLDG Dishwasher

Posts

31922

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm

Location

The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Jenise » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:09 am

At a store I don't usually shop at, the other day I discovered a close-out shelf with four 2010 Coudoulet de Beaucastels on it for like $16/ea. To get a further 10% discount, I needed to buy six bottles so added two 2010 Frei Brothers Dry Creek Reserve Zinfandels from the same shelf to my basket. To be frank, I don't buy many zins at all, but I do especially like those from the Dry Creek region and at the $10 price tag these, especially with a few extra years in the bottle, seemed like a no-brainer. Black raspberry jam and spice on nose and palate joined by a bit of green herbs and dust created an interesting duplicity of ripe fruit/cool vintage characteristics. Tannins are fairly relaxed at this point but not non-existent, and acidity is soft. I'd gauge it at peak, but it could hold here up to two years.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
User avatar
User

Peter May

Rank

Pinotage Advocate

Posts

2862

Joined

Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:24 pm

Location

Snorbens, England

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Peter May » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:48 am

Tomic, Plavac 2010, Croatia

Tasted blind, paired with Indian food at 2nd 'Spice Oddity' lunch, India Club, London, 11Sep2015*

Soft light bodied red (as later revealed with13.1% abv). I thought it was a modern cross such as Rondo or Dornfelder and guessed Germany. Others reasonably guessed Gamay. No one guessed variety or country

According to Tomic's website** , the wine is a blend of Plavac Veliki and Plavac Mali (with traces of Drnekušica)

Paired well with lamb and chicken curries but I would have preferred more presence


*Report at http://wideworldofwine.co/2015/09/11/sp ... ajor-tomt/

** http://www.bastijana.hr/plavac_eng.html
User avatar
User

Victorwine

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

1980

Joined

Thu May 18, 2006 10:51 pm

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Victorwine » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:01 pm

2008 St Francis Old Vine Zinfandel Sonoma County
88% Zinfandel; 11% a blend of Alicante, Mourvedre, Carignane, Syrah, and Petit Sirah
Bulk aged 15 months American Oak barrels 15.5% ABV

This bottle was still quite youthful in appearance, maybe just a slight showing of fading on the rim. Pleasant aromas of blackberries, red berries, plum, vanilla, pepper and spices backed up nicely with some savory bouquet aromas of molasses, caramel, tobacco and some exotic spices. Well made and balanced. Pleasant and long aftertaste. (My score 15.5, Group average 16.2 $20.00 USD)

Salute
User avatar
User

Robin Garr

Rank

Forum Janitor

Posts

20023

Joined

Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm

Location

Louisville, KY

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Robin Garr » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:18 pm

Bonterra 2012 Mendocino County Zinfandel ($13.99)

This clear, dark reddish-purple wine is made with organic grapes. Its Mendocino County fruit is blended with just a touch (5%) of Zin grapes from Amador County. Typical Zin aromas of blackberries and black plums lead into a fresh, simple but pleasing black-fruit flavor shaped by appropriate acidity and a soft touch of tannins. At 14.2% acidity it's hefty enough but relatively light by modern Zin standards, and benefits from that approach by sparing us the harsh heat that higher alcohol brings to some of its brethren. (Sept. 9, 2015)

FOOD MATCH: Zin's natural companion is red meat, simply prepared; it's a classic match for an excellent, juicy burger (served safely medium-rare, we hope, from locally grass-fed and pastured beef). We served it one evening with stuffed green peppers, then checked its versatility, enjoying the rest of the bottle the following day with an African peanut stew with okra, eggplant and tomatoes.

WHEN TO DRINK: It's drinking very nicely now and not likely to evolve significantly with cellar time; that said, though, it will certainly keep and remain pleasurable for several years under cool storage conditions.

VALUE: An excellent value at this mid-teens price, which matches Wine-Searcher.com's $14 U.S. retail median for Bonterra Zinfandel.
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/Bonte ... g_site=WLP

WEB LINKS
Here's Bonterra's fact sheet for the 2011 Zinfandel; the website apparently has not been updated for the new vintage, but I wouldn't expect major vintage differences.
http://shop.bonterra.com/product/Zinfan ... axRows=14&

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Compare prices and find sources for Bonterra Mendocino Zinfandel on Wine-Searcher.com.
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/Bonte ... g_site=WLP
no avatar
User

Tim York

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

4349

Joined

Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm

Location

near Lisieux, France

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Tim York » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:32 am

I managed to find this Zin but no Primitivo at Lavinia which in one of the best sources in France for "exotic" wines. It helped matters that this wine, but not Ridge Geyserville, was included in their Foire aux Vins offerings and so qualified for free transport even for one bottle. I liked this one a lot more than some early Zins I had from Turley, reputedly a "best" producer, and my more recent Primitivos from S.Italy. However I conserve a good memory of mature Ridge Geyserville of which I owned and drank several bottles in Belgium.

2013 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi - USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi (9/18/2015)
I haven't drunk much Zinfandel because several recommended by hard core Zin enthusiasts that I have tried seemed overbearing in size, excessively rich even cloying in fruit and often lavishly oaked as well as too expensive. So it came as a relief that this one was by comparison a model of balance and restraint and we had no difficulty in finishing the bottle even at 14.5% alcohol. The aromas on the nose showed quite fresh red and brambly dark fruit, mingled with spice and orange peel and became deeper and more complex as the bottle progressed. The palate was full/medium with good depth, plenty of fruit and the aromas similar the nose and showed welcome fresh acidity and unobtrusive touches of caramel and chocolate towards the nicely grippy finish. Good+.
Image

Posted from CellarTracker
Tim York
no avatar
User

John Treder

Rank

Zinaholic

Posts

1833

Joined

Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:03 pm

Location

Santa Rosa, CA

Yoakim Bridge Zin '12 (Dry Creek Valley)

by John Treder » Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:50 pm

Dry Creek Valley Yoakim Bridge Zinfandel 2012 $32.30 club price Bought 11/14 14.5% alcohol
I opened a fresh bottle with my usual Saturday spaghetti dinner. This was my first bottle (except for tastes at the winery) of this vintage.
What a beautiful wine! A taste like the smell of fresh-turned earth after the rain, plus all the usual Zin berries and brambles. Totally delicious and a very long sweet (not sugar-sweet but happy-sweet) finish.
David Cooper's dry-farmed acreage is "old vine" head-pruned Zin. I'm not sure quite how old, but probably as old as I am, which means pre-WW2. Gotta ask him next time I drop in. Of course, in a vineyard of that age, not every vine is equally old. I can live with that!
John in the wine county
no avatar
User

Fredrik L

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

730

Joined

Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:54 pm

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Fredrik L » Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:53 pm

I buy all vintages of Ridge Lytton Springs and enjoyed the 2012 as much as David but the 2013 tonight does show even more promise. The best young LS I ever tasted. Lavender, bilberry and leather. Great, great QPR! (Bought for roughly 36 USD at our state monopoly.)

Greetings from Sweden / Fredrik L
no avatar
User

Joe Moryl

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

951

Joined

Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:38 pm

Location

New Jersey, USA

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Joe Moryl » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:57 pm

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Old Vine Zinfandel: All the recent posts (here and in the forum) made me realize I haven't been drinking much Zinfandel. This one is about 77% Zin, sourced mainly from various vineyards around Sonoma, with some Lodi grapes; average age is said to be 80+ years. The balance is Carignane, Mourvedre, Petit Syrah, etc. (including some white grapes) - see the Bedrock website for all the gory details. Color is about what you would expect for a young Zin, fairly dark with a magenta rim. Seemed a bit hot and harsh right out of the cooler, but with time in the glass this wasn't a problem. Classic powdery but bright raspberry/zinberry. Slightly peppery, mid weight with decent length. Good stuff, drinkable now (I'm not sure why people try to age any Zins, other than some Ridge), 14.5 abv, $22.
User avatar
User

Bob Parsons Alberta

Rank

aka Doris

Posts

9959

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:07 am

Joe..Bedrock gets a lot of coverage over on the other place.Hows the Portugal cellar looking these days?
no avatar
User

Jim Borchers

Rank

Just got here

Posts

2

Joined

Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:02 pm

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Jim Borchers » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:59 am

We have always enjoyed Zin's. But most of them are so high in alcohol that we pass them by. We were in a wine club that sent us a Zin with 16.3% alcohol. I plan on sending the winery a note: "Hey guys, we enjoyed your Zin on the rocks. I'm looking forward to 20% in 2020."
no avatar
User

Jim Borchers

Rank

Just got here

Posts

2

Joined

Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:02 pm

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Jim Borchers » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:12 pm

We love the Zin's from Bella Luna Winery in south central coast area. They have a "dry farming" method of care and they are low alcohol (just under 14%). In fact, they are dedicated to low alcohol wines in general. Love their stuff.
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

26911

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm

Location

Connecticut

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by David M. Bueker » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:34 pm

Welcome aboard Jim.
Democracy dies in the darkness
User avatar
User

Robin Garr

Rank

Forum Janitor

Posts

20023

Joined

Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm

Location

Louisville, KY

Re: Wine Focus for September: Zinfandel and its cousins

by Robin Garr » Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:54 pm

Jim Borchers wrote:We have always enjoyed Zin's. But most of them are so high in alcohol that we pass them by. We were in a wine club that sent us a Zin with 16.3% alcohol. I plan on sending the winery a note: "Hey guys, we enjoyed your Zin on the rocks. I'm looking forward to 20% in 2020."

:lol:
Welcome to the forum, Jim! You're certainly preaching out of my hymn book on high-alcohol Zins (and other wines as well). I'll say that the Bonterra Zin that I reported above (and in a recent 30 Second Wine Advisor) came in at a rational alcohol level. It wasn't a trophy Zin by any means, but it was good, and it didn't cost like a trophy Zin, either.
Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Roberto Vigna and 3 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign