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

Robin Garr

Rank

Forum Janitor

Posts

21626

Joined

Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:44 pm

Location

Louisville, KY

September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its family

by Robin Garr » Fri Aug 27, 2021 10:31 am

Ah, Zinfandel! Wine Focus this month bridges summer and fall with Wine 303 - Zinfandel, the bold red grape that was long declared America's grape for its strong and early status as an iconic California wine ... until wine scientists using DNA research found that its roots reached back to Croatia, where its identical DNA twins Crljenik Kasteljanski and Tribidrag had grown for centuries, maybe as far back as ancient Rome. Southern Italy's Primitivo is the same grape too, perhaps transported across the Adriatic from the Balkans in ancient times. And Plavac Mali, another Croatian grape thought to be a Zin ancestor, turned out to be a similar cousin. So let's celebrate Zin and all its family in Wine Focus this month. Bring your Zin, or a Primitivo, or even a Crljenik if you can find it, and let's talk about Zin!
User avatar
User

Robin Garr

Rank

Forum Janitor

Posts

21626

Joined

Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:44 pm

Location

Louisville, KY

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Robin Garr » Fri Aug 27, 2021 1:23 pm

I'm not a huge Zin fan, but Bonterra has long been an appealing point of entry for me. It's affordable, it's organic, it adds a bit of Petite Sirah in a bow to old-school field blends, and it offers plenty of Zin character for a price that's right. I couldn't help noticing that the alcohol jumped up to 15.3% in this vintage, not unusual for Zin but almost a full percentage point over Bonterra's tradition; and the last two vintages have borne a California appellation, not Sonoma, which is surprising since they've long shown pride in their Mendocino organic vineyard. I reached out to Bonterra for info but haven't heard back yet. Still, it's a decent Zin. I like it.

Bonterra 2019 California Zinfandel ($13.99)

Bonterra Zinfandel, a good-value California Zin made with certified organic grapes, offers an appealing introduction to Zinfandel at a rational price. Its fresh, fruity aroma offers characteristic Zin raspberries and strawberries, with distinct touches of blueberry and black plum that might signal the splash of Petite Sirah in the blend. A heady overtone of strawberry liqueur comes along for the ride. Plums and blueberries are more evident in the flavor, with food-friendly acidity and a light buzz of tannins that linger. Notes of oak show as pleasant black coffee and dark chocolate as the wine airs in the glass. Sturdy 15.3% alcohol is worth noting, but to the wine’s credit, it handles the high alcohol well without unpleasant harshness or heat. (Aug. 26, 2021)

FOOD MATCH: This hearty, fruity aromatic red is a natural with just about all forms of red meat: Steaks, prime rib, roast pork or venison. Creamy cheeses also bring up its flavor nicely, and it goes surprisingly well with fiery fare: We enjoyed it with a Cajun-Italian mix of spicy okra and tomatoes over penne rigate.

WHEN TO DRINK: A couple of years in a good cellar will do this wine no harm, but I advise drinking Zin within five years or so after the vintage, while its trademark fruit is fresh.

VALUE:
Wine-Searcher.com lists a $15 average U.S. retail, the winery posts a $16 suggested retail price. I was delighted to pick up a bottle locally for $14; it's certainly a good bargain throughout the middle teens.

WEB LINK:
The winery offers a short fact sheet and a purchase opportunity at this link.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for Bonterra California Zinfandel on Wine-Searcher.com.

Follow this Wine-Searcher link to find listings for dozens of other Bonterra wines with vendor and price information.
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

31571

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:52 am

Location

Connecticut

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by David M. Bueker » Fri Aug 27, 2021 8:07 pm

15.3%? That’s Turley territory!
Decisions are made by those who show up
User avatar
User

Robin Garr

Rank

Forum Janitor

Posts

21626

Joined

Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:44 pm

Location

Louisville, KY

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Robin Garr » Fri Aug 27, 2021 8:27 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:15.3%? That’s Turley territory!

I heard back from an unidentified source at Bonterra who insist's it's 14.8. I sent them a photo of the back label and have yet to receive a response. Of course label errors happen all the time, but this was a 2019 Zin label for sure.

IMG_7728.JPG
Bonterra 2019 Zin back label
IMG_7728.JPG (154.98 KiB) Viewed 8283 times
User avatar
User

Jenise

Rank

FLDG Dishwasher

Posts

38394

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:45 pm

Location

The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Jenise » Mon Aug 30, 2021 11:33 am

Not specifically called zinfandel, but there are 19 different grapes in this field blend from a vineyard planted in 1888, and one of them's inevitably going to be zin, so....

2017 Bedrock Wine Co. The Bedrock Heritage Sonoma Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
Decanted four hours before taking to a party where I didn't have the opportunity to dawdle over a glass for very long, but I found bing cherry and other savory nuances peeking through the earthy dark fruits and rustic tannins--everything good, but needs time.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
User avatar
User

Bob Parsons Alberta

Rank

aka Doris

Posts

10577

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:09 pm

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 30, 2021 5:51 pm

St. Francis has been one of my fave producers for Zinfandel so managed to sample this 2018 vintage at a local wine bar downtown.

The 2018 Old Vines is a medium bodied zin with a very enticing nose of dark berries, cherry and spice. Initial entry thought is well balanced with soft tannins, brambleberry pie, hint of white pepper. One glass did not do this fine red enough credit. Think it sells for around $35 Cda. Went well with a mini burger assortment.
Will have to return as they have a Primitivo listed.
no avatar
User

Tim York

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

4836

Joined

Tue May 09, 2006 2:48 pm

Location

near Lisieux, France

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Tim York » Tue Aug 31, 2021 2:50 pm

CT tells me that I have only consumed two Zins in the 7 years I have been using it. I don't hold out much hope of putting my hand on a Zin this month but, in their Foire aux Vins, an organic products supermarket chain called Biocoop is offering a Primitivo from Abruzzo, which the magazine Cuisine et Vins de France picks out as a Coup de Coeur. I hope our local branch decides to stock it. Meanwhile, here are my TNs on the two Zins.

2015 Bonterra Vineyards Zinfandel - USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (22/02/2018)
This was an attractively pure, full and fruity Zin with a touch of orange and a sprinkling of spice in its round brambly fruit and enough acidity and backbone for balance. Its 15% alcohol was unobtrusive, indeed treacherously so, because the wine was moreish. Good.


2013 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi - USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi (18/09/2015)
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+.
Posted from CellarTracker
Tim York
User avatar
User

Jenise

Rank

FLDG Dishwasher

Posts

38394

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:45 pm

Location

The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Jenise » Tue Aug 31, 2021 4:42 pm

Tim, I think you just nailed the hard-core Zin enthusiast. That is, overbearing and excessively rich--or to put it another way, high alcohol and big/jammy ripe fruit--tend to be what the enthusiasts love. Those of us who prefer a more demure approach aren't the majority. My favorite zin producer is Carlisle--even the Ridges got too big for me.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

31571

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:52 am

Location

Connecticut

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by David M. Bueker » Tue Aug 31, 2021 6:49 pm

Jenise wrote:Tim, I think you just nailed the hard-core Zin enthusiast. That is, overbearing and excessively rich--or to put it another way, high alcohol and big/jammy ripe fruit--tend to be what the enthusiasts love. Those of us who prefer a more demure approach aren't the majority. My favorite zin producer is Carlisle--even the Ridges got too big for me.


Umm…not all of us.
Decisions are made by those who show up
User avatar
User

Jenise

Rank

FLDG Dishwasher

Posts

38394

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:45 pm

Location

The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Jenise » Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:18 am

I know.
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

3586

Joined

Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:24 am

Location

Snorbens, England

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Peter May » Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:48 am

ridge-geyserville -zin-2015.jpg
ridge-geyserville -zin-2015.jpg (47.7 KiB) Viewed 8084 times


2015 Ridge Geyserville ( California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley)

This is a Zinfandel blend comprising 70% Zinfandel, 15% Carignan, 12% Petite Sirah and 3% Alicante Bouschet. Abv 14.5%

I find Zin with a few complementary varieties preferable to 100% Zin and these three are, IMO, the perfect ones to complement Zin

'Twas a gorgeous wine, blackberries and plums, seemed very young and has many years ahead of it but as it is drinking beautifully now I think I’ll open the others sooner than later.
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

31571

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:52 am

Location

Connecticut

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by David M. Bueker » Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:19 pm

Thanks Peter.

I have a bottle of that same wine in my (rather long) drinking queue. Will do my best to get to it this month.
Decisions are made by those who show up
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

31571

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:52 am

Location

Connecticut

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by David M. Bueker » Fri Sep 03, 2021 7:47 pm

  • 1989 Ravenswood Zinfandel Sonoma County - USA, California, Sonoma County (9/3/2021)
    It’s not every night that I open a 32 year old Zinfandel. Maybe I should. First sip at 5 PM is all ripe berries. Come back 90 minutes later with dinner, and the red fruit supplemented by bottle aged sweetness is all there. It’s supplemented with dried herbs, leather, and a lovely old wine patina of dried orange peel, old wood and brown tobacco. There’s even still a touch of tannic astringency, as if the wine is saying “I’m not done yet.”
Decisions are made by those who show up
User avatar
User

Peter May

Rank

Pinotage Advocate

Posts

3586

Joined

Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:24 am

Location

Snorbens, England

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Peter May » Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:09 am

David, had you kept that wine for 30 years, or was it a recent library purchase?
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

31571

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:52 am

Location

Connecticut

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by David M. Bueker » Sun Sep 05, 2021 8:08 am

Peter May wrote:David, had you kept that wine for 30 years, or was it a recent library purchase?


Library sale in 2019. I first started buying Ravenswood when the 1994 vintage was for sale.
Decisions are made by those who show up
User avatar
User

Robin Garr

Rank

Forum Janitor

Posts

21626

Joined

Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:44 pm

Location

Louisville, KY

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Robin Garr » Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:45 am

That 1989 would have been a great anniversary wine for us! :shock:
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

31571

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:52 am

Location

Connecticut

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by David M. Bueker » Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:53 am

Robin Garr wrote:That 1989 would have been a great anniversary wine for us! :shock:


Oops! ;)

Same here, except Laura doesn't drink red wine. (except Port and very old Bordeaux...'89 Palmer waiting for our 40th)
Decisions are made by those who show up
User avatar
User

Robin Garr

Rank

Forum Janitor

Posts

21626

Joined

Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:44 pm

Location

Louisville, KY

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Robin Garr » Sun Sep 05, 2021 12:06 pm

That 89 Palmer should be doing just fine in 2031. Let's just hope we're not dealing with the Omega Variant then. :twisted:
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

31571

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:52 am

Location

Connecticut

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by David M. Bueker » Sun Sep 05, 2021 12:47 pm

Robin Garr wrote:That 89 Palmer should be doing just fine in 2031. Let's just hope we're not dealing with the Omega Variant then. :twisted:


Charlton Heston is already dead, so maybe we're OK.

Of course there's still Will Smith.
Decisions are made by those who show up
no avatar
User

Pat G

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

639

Joined

Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:48 am

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Pat G » Sun Sep 05, 2021 3:04 pm

Recent Zin purchases were 2018 2019 entry-level from Carlisle and Bedrock. They seem to have a track record as reliable producers. Carlisle about 15% alcohol, Bedrock about 14.4%. But Bedrock is 85% Zin, Carlisle is 90+%.

Any thoughts welcome, as always.
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

31571

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:52 am

Location

Connecticut

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by David M. Bueker » Sun Sep 05, 2021 4:44 pm

Never been much of a Carlisle fan. It’s odd, as most folks who like Bedrock also like Carlisle.
Decisions are made by those who show up
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

31571

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:52 am

Location

Connecticut

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by David M. Bueker » Tue Sep 07, 2021 7:05 pm

Having the 2015 Ridge Geyserville right now, and it’s delicious. Classic Geyserville.
Decisions are made by those who show up
no avatar
User

Tim York

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

4836

Joined

Tue May 09, 2006 2:48 pm

Location

near Lisieux, France

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by Tim York » Wed Sep 08, 2021 9:11 am

This wine is on sale as part of la Foire aux Vins at an organic products supermarket. It comes from a cooperative located in Abruzzo which boasts biodynamic cultivation. It costs c.€8 and I prefer its gluggable character to most of the expensive and ambitious Zin which has come my way.

2020 Lunaria Primitivo Ruminat - Italy, Abruzzi, Orsogna, Terre di Chieti IGT (07/09/2021)
This attractive wine has a flavour profile which is rather unusual. It shows lots of soft dark red fruit, including plum and blackberry, abundant spices including nutmeg, a slight but distinct sweetness, only moderate acidity and a touch of liquorice but not a lot of tannin on the finish. It had a bloom and softness of texture which I associate with macération carbonique. This is very appealing right now but it is my guess that it needs to be drunk in the first flush of youth. Good.
Posted from CellarTracker
Tim York
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

31571

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:52 am

Location

Connecticut

Re: September Wine Focus: Wine 303 - Zinfandel and its famil

by David M. Bueker » Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:47 pm

  • 2019 Once & Future Wine Zinfandel Frank's Block Teldeschi Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (9/16/2021)
    My history with Teldeschi goes back to the early 1990s and Ravenswood. The Once & Future style has a lean towards Bedrock, but still maintains a fresh acidic core that reminds me of the old Ravenswood wines, and counterbalances the luscious up front fruit. Clearly this is early in a potentially long life, but I rarely have the willpower to keep these for very long.
Decisions are made by those who show up
Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 27 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign
cron