As you may have noted, I’ve been on a bit of a Zinfandel bender of late. So without further ado ….
Wine: California Classics Lodi Zinfandel
Appellation: Lodi, CA
Price: $8.49 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: A very dark red, this Cline Zin smelled of berries, moss and rubber. It had good acidity, heft on the palate was on the light side of medium, and alcohol was at 14%. Flavor-wise, I tasted blackberry, currant, oak, some eucalyptus and a touch of pepper. Not bad at all!
Last post from those birthday celebrations a few weeks back. As you may recall, we managed to pull off a second “surprise” party for the old geezer (just kidding). Besides Thai Food – Pad Thai, Seafood Fried Rice, Vegetable Spring Rolls and Steamed Dumplings – we also had a marvelous chocolate cake. Unfortunately, I’m not authorized to post pictures of the cake here because the decorations included the celebrant’s name and age. That information is evidently not for general public consumption. Luckily, the cake was available for consumption at the party, and it was tasty. This Zinfandel is what I chose to sip with it.
Wine: Vintner’s Blend, Old Vine Zinfandel
Notes: This Ravenswood was dark red with a piquant nose of turpentine, meat and berries. It was medium-bodied and had a very nice, smooth affect on the tongue. Acidity was good, tannins were medium, and alcohol was at 13.5%. Flavors I detected were blueberry, cherry, plenty of pepper, along with smoke and ash notes. I liked this Zin. It was fine with the cake but even better on it’s own.
As I’ve mentioned before, it was California Zinfandel that really got me started on wines and wine exploration. Thus, I have a soft spot in my heart for the varietal. Of course, not all Zins are created equal.
Winemaker: Trader Joe’s
Wine: T.J. Coastal Zinfandel
Appellation: Central Coast, CA
Price: $4.99 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: The color of this Zin from the Central Coast was a medium garnet with definite brownish tinges. On the nose I caught scents of berries, earth and pine resin. It was uncharacteristically (and for me unsatisfyingly) light-bodied with decent acidity. Alcohol was at 13.9%. On the palate, I tasted red fruit toward the front end followed by pepper and copious woodiness. The finish was mostly bitter but also held echoes of cherry drops. No doubt it would do fine with a plate of pasta or another casual meal. I personally prefer more body and structure in a Zin, but you can’t beat the price.
Evidently, Dancing Bull started out with Zin. Released under the Rancho Zabaco label, Robert Parker tagged it as a best buy in Zinfandel that year – 2002. Given my experience with their 2013 California Zin, that doesn’t surprise me at all.
Notes: This California Zin was a deep ruby color with scents of musty earth, pine, and dark, ripe berries in the bouquet. Acidity was good, tannins were moderate, and alcohol was at 13.9% on this medium-bodied selection. I thought this was pretty darned tasty. It had intensity of flavor yet still seemed to be somewhat restrained. An oxymoron? Maybe I am. A paradox? Couldn’t say. What I can say is that as I sipped this Dancing Bull, I found vanilla, dark currant, oak, and spice notes on the palate. I don’t think this is a good candidate for long cellaring, so drink up!