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Recommendations for (US) Zin required


ChrisTaylor
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Zinfandel is very, very, very hard to get in Australia. A handful of vineyards grow it here and what I've had, so far, is very good, although I'm told it's all really different to the US stuff. Anyway. Say I was to have access to a decent-sized/stocked bottleshop in the US. And I was to go in with $100(USD) with the intent of coming out with two bottles of--ideally contrasting--Zin. With no intention of getting much, if any, change from that purchase. What should I look into?

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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I'd really look hard @ Rosenblum Cellars--for one or Ridge Cellars!! You can find this stuff in quite a few wine stores ( which I have many mail order zins- not readily avail ). Lytton Springs ( Ridge ) or the Rockpile ( Rosenblum ) comes to mind ( a bit bigger in style ). AS a favorites to me.

https://www.rosenblumcellars.com/wine-shop/Zinfandels.

Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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In the past Ive collected Zins from CA, and was able to keep many for some time in the basement. Id look at a vintage chart and try to get something from Ridge, or Ravenswood.

Id also try to find one from a 'good' vintage that's on the older side, and one that might be the same from the younger side.

Well made Zin that has been kept properly ages very well, and might have astonishing bouquet and a long finish.

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Chris,

Hmm... I think Zin starts to get interesting closer to the $35 range than $50 - if you can find these, they're well worth it:

Storybook Mountain (Napa)

Seghesio Rockpile (Dry Creek)

Navarro (Mendocino)

Cedarville (El Dorado)

Thanks,

Zachary

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I had a glass of the 2007 Turley "Ueberroth" Paso Robles Zinfandel recently (it was a present for my father who is much more into wine than I) which I thought was excellent. It goes for around $50-60 dollars though and I am not sure it was head and shoulders above less expensive zins.

Then again, as I noted, I am by no means an oenophile!

The Turley zins seem to be well regarded but can be a bit spendy in general.

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One other thing about Zins: sometimes they are made 'big' or whatever the current term for it is: with very high alcohol content. Ive had Ridge wines in the past up to 17%. Don't know how they do it, possibly a very hardy strain of fermenter.

If you compare two Zins, take that into account.

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I'm not much of a Zinfandel person, but I'm going to recommend Turley because it's been head and shoulders above anything else I've had in my admittedly limited exploration. What I would do is get something like their "Juvenile" or another of their non-single vineyard offerings. The "Juvenile" in particular is pretty cheap for a Zin, and it will be interesting because it's made to be drunk young. You'll get to taste Zin in its teenage years, so to speak, intense and a little racy with gobs of fruit but a little unfocused and not all it can be yet. Then get a nice, older single vineyard offering from the same winemaker to show you the deeper, more focused intensity of the fruit and nice extras like leather, cedar, maybe a little bit of tobacco, etc.

If you go this route, the Juvenile should be around $25 if pricing is anything like what it is here. Then you have $75 to put into a very nice bottle. And the contrast between the young and the well-developed (if not in age, in the extra care taken to make the wine) will tell you more about Zin than two $50 bottles in my opinion.

nunc est bibendum...

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you will be in good company with the wines I have selected and the producers... they all score 90 + points and look for the key vintages... 2007,2009,2005,1995,1997

enjoy ... Cheers !!!

7 ZINS 2009 WA 90 points old vines USD $ 22.00 Lodi Ca

Cline Old Vines 2007,2009,2005,1995,1997

Cline Cellars

2006 Live Oak Zinfandel

Contra Costa County, CA

Rosenblum Cellars

2008 Maggie's Reserve Zinfandel

Sonoma Valley, CA

Rancho Zabaco

Sonoma Heritage Vines Zinfandel

Sonoma County, CA

Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2009

Zinfandel

Sierra Foothills, California

high rated wines

more $$$

Ridge York Creek Zinfandel 2009

Price: $29.99

Ridge York Creek Zinfandel 2009

Zinfandel

Napa Valley, California

Artezin Dry Creek Zinfandel 2007

Zinfandel

Sonoma County, California

Rancho Zabaco Monte Rosso Zinfandel 2007

Zinfandel

Sonoma County, California

Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard Zinfandel 2008

Zinfandel

Russian River, California

Turley,

Carlisle,

Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2009 from Sonoma County, California - The 2007 vintage of this wine was ranked #10 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines

organic wine

Coturri Winery - Home

www.coturriwinery.com

6725 Enterprise Road Glen Ellen, CA 95442

(707) 525-9126

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I'd start looking for grapes sourced from dry farmed, head pruned vines. Dusi vineyard comes to mind. Alcohol content will be an issue but not as significant as the rush by winemakers to produce overly fruity, heavy on the palate zins. Almost Syrah like in mouthfeel. This is my experience so take it with a grain of salt. Ridge is good and I believe sources grape from the Dusi's. Tasting will tell all, more is better or at least until your teeth are purple. The Turley wines are from head pruned, dry farmed vines at the old Pesenti vineyard. The Paso Robles and Lodi appelations are prodcuing some good stuff.

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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I smile as I remember taking a California Zin to our winemaking hosts in France. Our host, in fact, had some years previously been named "best sommelier in France" during his work with Bocuse. So, we presented our wine. He hefted the bottle. "The bottle is too heavy." He reads the label. "17%. Ooof. Too much alcohol." Then he opens it. Does the whole tasting ritual. "It's powerful but very well made. It's delicious!" The wine was poured around the table and emptied immediately.

The wine was a Lodi Van Ruiten Explozin.

eGullet member #80.

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One other thing about Zins: sometimes they are made 'big' or whatever the current term for it is: with very high alcohol content. Ive had Ridge wines in the past up to 17%. Don't know how they do it, possibly a very hardy strain of fermenter.

Ideally, high alcohol content is achieved by hand sorting and discarding unripe second growth clusters and only using the ripe fruit. The riper the fruit, the higher the sugar content that will convert to higher alcohol levels.

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I'd like to second Bogel Old Vine. A very nice wine.

There are other old vine zins that can be found in the Napa area. I like all of them. Pair with a well-seasoned flatiron steak and root vegetables.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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  • 1 month later...

It is hard to go wrong with a Ridge Zinfandel. They've been at the top for many years. Others such as Rosenblum and Cline mentioned here have also been favorites over time. One not mentioned yet which I particularly like is Zin Alley which is located very close to Turley down in the Paso Robles area.

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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I'm very partial to the Seghesio Zinfandels; Rockpile and Block 8 are my favorites but there are several other sets every year. They're all in the $28 - $35/bottle range; I'm not sure of the exact cost. I'm also very fond of the zinfandels produced by Dover Canyon winery and by Sunce winery.

I don't think the Rancho Zabaco zins are all that great...not that they're bad, but they don't seem to have much character.

Ridge??? I heard wonderful things about them from an aficionado. My own experience was quite to the contrary. First: their zin wasn't that great, and it was blended with other grapes. Second: their tasting room requires a fee up-front, and nothing that we tasted justified their fees. I'm leaving Ridge out of my future purchases.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Ah, I just remembered - an unfortunately few moments after my last post - my favorite low-priced zinfandels: Ravenswood vintner's blend. Sometimes it's called the Old Vines blend. Either way, it goes by lower prices than the others I've mentioned, but it's darned good stuff that makes a nice contrast to the high-end zins. Enjoy!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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  • 2 months later...

Definitely a thumbs up on Ridge and Ravenswood. I find the Turleys to be a little heavy ... they appeal to the Robert Parker crowd but I'm not sure they represent the peppery style that only zinfandels can achieve. I used to love Rosenblum, but a few years ago the wine began upsetting my stomach ... consistently, across all vineyards ... so I had to stop buying or storing it. Couldn't even finish the last few bottles in the cellar and left them with my ex.

Benito and Dante Dusi's granddaughter is now producing her own wine, J. Dusi, which I think is very exciting. One of the few (maybe the only?) old vine zinfandel vineyard and winery productions that is still in the direct family line.

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