October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

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Re: October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Postby Brian K Miller » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:56 pm

Bob! You did not intentionally post a video from that sad commercial travesty of a "band" who tried to coast on the glorious heritage of Jefferson Airplane, did you? For Shame, Man, For Shame!
...(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
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Re: WTN: Not a Drag

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:53 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Tribidrag

This looks like a great place to tack on a good Jon Bonné SFChron article on Tribidrag and the current state of Zin historical research:

History underscores Zinfandel's new tack
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Re: October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Postby Tim York » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:07 pm

Alas, my best intentions of contributing to this thread have been frustrated. I was at the Rob gastronomic temple in town today hoping to find at least one decent Californian Zinfandel and/or Italian Primitivo. There were none of the latter and only one of the former and I have already forgotten its estate name.

However I have not forgotten its back label. After some praise of the estate's old vines, cultivation methods and the fruit flavours in the wine, it added "wrapped in a blanket of vanilla and oak" :shock: . For once this was a really helpful back label which told me instantly that I would dislike the wine :wink: .

I did find a South African Zinfandel/Pinotage blend, on which I will report in due course but probably not in October due to intensive house-hunting.
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Re: October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Postby Shaji M » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:18 pm

WTN: Handley 2010 Zinfandel. The fruit for this wine came from Redwood Valley. I have always felt that this area produced quite distinctive Zins and this wine confirmed that belief. This one was very well balanced despite an alcohol of 15.5% with black fruits, cherry and a touch of anise. Quite a tasty wine that paired well with store bought lasagna!
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Re: October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Postby Tom NJ » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:47 am

WTN: 2010 Ch. Thomas Winery Zinfandel
The grapes for this Indiana winery's zin were from Amador County. Like a lot of the warmer climate CA zins I've had, this was a very light color and style (are they still doing a lot of second and even third crops there? This sure seemed like an early ripener). Very much Beaujolais character here, with a fair amount of berry and acid. A bit too much acid for my sense of balance, but nothing that put it into the harsh or astringent camp. It was just a pleasant, light, kinda nondescript zin that was competently made but not particularly exciting. "Inoffensive" might be a bit harsh, but it's also not far off. I mean, it did ok matched with a rich beef daube and a cheesy Korean drama (the closest thing I had in the house to actual cheese :lol: ).

So there ya go. A light, pleasant enough zin with no particular aspirations to be otherwise. This style of zin, at this level of quality, can be had elsewhere at a far lower price than what they're charging at the winery for this bottle (wife said she thinks she paid $25) so it's probably not one we'll be having again. Shame - I like the name 8)
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Re: October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Postby Drew Hall » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:48 am

Obviously I should have placed
quotes
around "American". I only meant that zin is a wine that, in America, we call it our own....damn nit pickers.
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Re: October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Postby Brian Gilp » Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:53 am

Tom NJ wrote:WTN: 2010 Ch. Thomas Winery Zinfandel
so it's probably not one we'll be having again. Shame - I like the name 8)

Thanks Tom. I have often wondered about the wine these days. I worked there for a while back in 1994/1995 timeframe. The winery was completely different then. At that time they made nine wines (Cab, Merlot, PN, Zin, Cdr blend, Chard, SB, chenin, and a semi-sweet muscat) plus the occasional extra and all the vineyard sources were prime; Rutherford Cab, Oakville merlot, Carnerous Chard & PN, etc. The wines I thought were quite good back then and occasionally excellent. I liked them so much I served them at my wedding.

Problem was that the winery was losing money. The Fleur de Peche (semi-sweet muscat) was the big revenue generator but not enough of one so the winery was to close. The grape contracts were not renewed, the winery lease not renewed, the equipment sold to the son who was the winemaker then and he took it and relocated to Southern Indiana and opened his own winery. To sell the remaining inventory, the owner rented a tasting room space in Nashville Indiana and once there sales took off. They sold so much back inventory in such a little time that the plans to close were changed but now they lacked a winery, equipment, grape sources, and a winemaker.

So now they are sourcing from Lodi and Amador instead of Napa. Not sure who is making the wine these days. Lastly, I see a large quantity of wines on the website that were never part of the winery I knew that appear to be focused on sales to non-wine drinkers.

In short, the winery went from one striving to make a certain quality of wine without regards to profits and over the course of years appears to have switched to one focused on profits over quality. While, I wish it were not the case, I was there during the prep for shutdown and understand first hand that the market was not supportive of their original intent. I owe a great debt to the Thomas family for indulging my interst in wine and being more than employers. They encouraged me to follow my love of wine and shared with me much more knowledge and experience than one could ever expect. I am glad that they appear to be profitable and hope that Charlie still makes a Family Reserve even if its no longer for sale.
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Re: October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Postby Tom NJ » Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:14 pm

Wow Brian, I was really intrigued to read your personal reminiscences. Fantastic stuff - thanks for writing that all out!

I'm glad they're profitable too. You never want to see anyone losing their livlihood. It is a shame, though, if they had to "dumb down" the product in order to do it.

One thing I think that helps them is location: the main building being right off I-70 probably gives them a lot more "drop in" business than if they were nestled out in the hinterlands down a picturesque but half-hidden dirt path. That's how my wife and I first found the place back in the early 2000's.

Thanks again :)
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Re: October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:38 am

Drew Hall wrote:damn nit pickers.

:oops: :lol:
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Folie à Deux 2011 Dry Creek Valley Sonoma County Zinfandel

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:28 pm

Folie à Deux 2011 Dry Creek Valley Sonoma County Zinfandel ($16.99)

This classic-style Zin, blended with just a splash of Petite Sirah, is a very dark reddish-purple in the glass, with a garnet edge. Classic Zin scents, bramble berry fruit with a hint of Chambord raspberry liqueur and a whiff of dried herbs. Big, full but well balanced in flavor, ripe and juicy cherry-berry fruit, so juicy that you almost think it's sweet on first impression, but zippy fresh-fruit acidity provides balance and it finishes dry. Although the label claims a hefty 14.5%, the wine doesn't suffer harshness or heat. Very good old-style Zin. (Oct. 24, 2013)

FOOD MATCH: Zin is a reliable partner with steaks or burgers and fine with char-grilled chicken. It went very well, too, with Italian sausages sauteed with peppers and onions.

WHEN TO DRINK: I don't consider Zin a candidate for long-term cellaring, but I'd have no qualms about keeping this one around for another year or two on a wine rack, perhaps a bit longer under good cellar conditions.

VALUE: The mid-teens price seems fair, and it's within reach of the $16 U.S. median retail reported on Wine-Searcher.com. That said, however, it might be worth shopping around if your local price is at the higher end, as Wine-Searcher.com does find some merchants offering it in the $13-$14 range.
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/folie ... g_site=WLP

WEB LINK:
http://www.folieadeux.com/dry-creek-zinfandel
Here's a link to the winery promo sheet on Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel:
with further links to a more detailed tech sheet</a> featuring the somewhat outdated 2009 vintage:
http://www.folieadeux.com/assets/pdf/FAD_ZN_09_FS.pdf

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and locate vendors for Folie &agrave; Deux Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel on Wine-Searcher.com
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/folie ... g_site=WLP
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Re: October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Postby JC (NC) » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:58 am

2011 POGGIA ANIMA LILITH PRIMITIVO, BASILICATA IGT, ITALY. $14.99. Imported by Vine Street Imports, Mt. Laurel, NJ. Dark purple; opaque. 14.5% abv. Light to medium body; refreshing. Reminds me a bit of Syrah. Warm berry flavors, smooth taste and texture, pleasant finish. Quite a bit of sediment to filter out on the final glass.
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Re: October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Postby Mark Lipton » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:16 pm

2009 Dashe Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
In search of a fruit-forward wine to open with pizza, I opened this. Classic Dry Creek Zin nose: dark, berryish fruit surrounded by lots of tarry notes. On the palate, it was medium-bodied with plenty of acidity to make for a clean finish. Rich, but not at all heavy, it reminded me of how good how Zin can be in the hands of a talented winemaker like Mike Dashe.

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Re: October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Postby JC (NC) » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:23 am

2006 ROBERT BIALE VINEYARDS ZINFANDEL, STAGECOACH VINEYARDS, THE BIALE BLOCK, NAPA VALLEY, CA. 15.5% abv. Very dark purple color; opaque. The flavor reflects blackberries. Some reviews mention that the wine is raisiny, but I didn't pick up on that until I looked for it after seeing the reviews. I will say that I didn't like this wine quite as much as some of the Biale Black Chicken Zins I have tasted in the past. I still have the 2006 Black Chicken and 2006 Aldo's Vineyard to try. The grapes for this wine come from a vineyard above Oakville.
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Re: October Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Postby JC (NC) » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:31 am

2011 PoiZIN Zinfandel, bottled by Armida Winery, Healdsburg, CA. The winery markets this in a bottle with a skull and cross bones and it comes in a mini-coffin and is described as "a wine to die for." Appropriately, I tasted this from a wine dispenser at The Wine Café on Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC a few days before Halloween and a couple hours before the Zombie Walk down Hay Street began. (I saw one Zombie sticking his head into the wine shop before I left.) 14.3% alcohol by volume. Includes some Petite Sirah. Dark crimson color; nearly opaque. Nice nose of dark berries, mainly raspberry. Light to medium body on the palate; refreshing, not a particularly "powerful" Zin. Easy sipping. Slightly savory. Mild spiciness. At home I might pair this with roast pork or duck breast similar to Pinot Noir pairings. Sells for $25 a bottle at the winery and $18.75 for wine club members. Could be useful for a Halloween party.
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