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Zinfandel


Fat Guy
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I want to register a protest here, there is far too much talking up of Zin. If this ever leaks out there will be a massive price hike and one of the true bargains to come out of California/Croatia will be lost forever. If you don't like Zinfandel that's fine, but if you do keep it quiet!

Good Point!!!! :laugh:

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Wouldn't know where to start or how to end when mentioning wonderful Zins.

ZAP, Zinfandel Advocates and Producers, just had their huge tasting at Fort Mason in San Francisco., on Jan. 25. (It takes place every year SuperBowl weekend.) Think of 2 large pavillion/piers and over 300 producers each pouring multiple Zins. You get a glass and a baguette when you walk in. Then you have to pick and choose what to sample, knowing that you need to make it out at 5:00. Wednesday of that week there was a seminar/tasting, (6 flights of 5 wines each, arranged by region) with the winemakers talking about their areas, soil, etc. and a luncheon, held at COPIA in Napa. Thursday night was "Good Eats" at Rosenblum, Friday night was "Blue Jeans to Black Tie" Dinner, live & silent auctions, and a winemaker at each table with his or her specialties. Four days immersed in incredible wine.

Howell Mountain fruit is really nice and peppery. The nose alone is often full of pepper. Rosenblum makes an Annette's Reserve Rhodes Vineyard which is quite yummy. Scherrer fruit is great. The grower sells some to Greenwood Ridge which is quite popular. Some of the grapes he sells to his son Fred Scherrer, who we feel does the best job with it. He makes an "Old and Mature Vines" and a Shale Terrace. Shale tends to drink better when young, but is also very good. Gallo used to get some of the grapes, but I don't know if that is still true.

ZAP does tastings in other parts of the country. They will be having one in Washington D.C., Boston, and, I think, New York this spring. Nothing is the size of the one here, however. There were people there who fly in every year for that week.

I need to go and pour a glass of Zin!

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If you like Zin but don't want to pay the going California freight for it, try some of the incredibly well priced Primitivo wines from Puglia in the heel of Italy's boot. Really delicious at a fraction of the price. :cool:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Also, Rancho Zabaco is a terrific zin, and inexpensive. Philadelphia Mag this month named it the state store pick of the month-- it's sold here for $11.99, but I found it in Trader Joes in VA for $9.99. Great w/ braised shortribs.

Costco in NJ had the Rancho Zabaco for 8.99 last week plus 6% for the guv

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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But you have to pay to join Costco, right?

I visited the Costco in VA recently to check out their acclaimed wine program and was pretty unimpressed- not a great selection. Did find a King's Estate Pinot Noir-1998-Reserve (oregon) for $26 tho-- and have seen it for up to $38 elsewhere in the DC area (ie. at Arrowine). Haven't been to Costco in NJ tho, since I'm not a member (mom took me in VA).

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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Link to Zinfandel Article

This is the link to the article that originally ran in the New York Times.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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On behalf of my entire race I opollogize for the Zinfindel/Primitivo grape. Gaccccck! Except for that delightful Ravenwood wine, but maybe that is only the cool label talking.

I beg to differ

Helen Turley.....straightforward rock your socks off Zins

Bacon tastes good, porkchops taste good...

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  • 1 year later...
A. Rafanelli is outstanding at $22 a bottle. IT's thick and lush with lot's of pepper and big black fruit upfront and a smooth long finish. IT's hard to come by as most of the 12,000 bottles produced go to the mailing list folks who line up for hours at the vineyard on release day to get their 2 cases. The rest goes to select restaurants that the winemaker has eaten at and appreciates the food. Esty Street in Park Ridge, NJ carries it and while Rafanelli hasn't eaten there the owners have a very reliable source.

I'm (Still) obsessed with that Rafanelli zin. I've since found it on the wine list at No 9 Park in Boston and Ocean Ave Seafood in Santa Monica. Any other sightings, I'd sure love to know ( tried to call David once but got a busy signal and gave up--I should try again, I know). I only own one bottle, thanks to a friend who visited the vineyard a year ago.

Edited by sara (log)

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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I opollogize . . .

Is this a Croatian joke? :blink: Because Rick Opolo is Croatian! So even if you don't like zinfandel, you should check out Opolo Winery. :biggrin:

Seriously, though, zinfandel has a distinctive pepper character that many people just never warm up to. I've noticed that people either love it or hate it. S'okay. More for me!

Edited by DoverCanyon (log)

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Mary Baker

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I beg to differ

Helen Turley.....straightforward rock your socks off Zins

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but I thought I should clear up a common misconception, so as to avoid confusion. :blink: Helen Turley's label is "Marcassin," and she specializes in chardonnay and pinot noir. She split with her brothers years ago, and has no association with the Turley label. Larry Turley's winemaker is Ehren Jordan, a very talented (and funny) young man.

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Mary Baker

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I'm anything but a wine expert BUT I know what I like to drink and what I think a good wine should taste like. That being said...

Steele and Dashe are two excellent producers of red zins.

From around $20 to $25 per bottle at Supercellars in Paterson NJ

The Steele zin is a real powerhouse that goes best with flavorful foods.

The Dashe zins are powerful too but have more sophistication as the flavours are more multilayered.

What do you real wine experts think of these two producers wines? Thanks

:biggrin:

GoodEater

Vivo per mangiare!

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I just did a search on Wine Spectator for Zinfandels rated 90 or above from 2000 or higher in vintage, that turned up 33 wines. Seghesio, Rosenblum and Turley dominated the list. Now factor in that most wineries don't even submit their stuff for rating...

Not a single Ravenswood was listed. Frankly, I'm not real impressed with most of Ravenswood's offerings. Here in California it is a supermarket wine that most self respecting wine shops (ours included) do not carry. I think that their offerings pre-buyout by Constellation Brands were better and some of their higher end stuff is drinkable. But, I'd try something else first.

Andy Szmidt

WineMiles.com - great wines! low prices!

The early bird may get the worm. But it is the second mouse that gets the cheese.

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What is "too much" alcohol?  I have seen (and tasted) Zins with alcohol in the 13% range up to the really BIG Zins with 17% and higher.

I'm with Adam on this one. In my experience Zinfandels never have enough body or depth of flavour to cope with their level of alcohol, so the overriding experience is the fire of the alcohol. However we both live in the UK and may be drinking your dregs.

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[What is "too much" alcohol?  I have seen (and tasted) Zins with alcohol in the 13% range up to the really BIG Zins with 17% and higher.

I'm with Adam on this one. In my experience Zinfandels never have enough body or depth of flavour to cope with the level of alcohol, so the overriding character is the fire of the alcohol.

However, Adam and I live in the UK and may be drinking your dregs.

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I just did a search on Wine Spectator for Zinfandels rated 90 or above from 2000 or higher in vintage, that turned up 33 wines. Seghesio, Rosenblum and Turley dominated the list. Now factor in that most wineries don't even submit their stuff for rating...

Not a single Ravenswood was listed. Frankly, I'm not real impressed with most of Ravenswood's offerings. Here in California it is a supermarket wine that most self respecting wine shops (ours included) do not carry. I think that their offerings pre-buyout by Constellation Brands were better and some of their higher end stuff is drinkable. But, I'd try something else first.

Ravenswood's Vintners Blends are indeed priced in the supermarket category and, thanks to the Constellation connection, are everywhere these days. Their single vineyard bottlings are much smaller production runs. The last vintage of Pickberry that I tried was pretty tasty. As far as I know, Joel Peterson is still running the winery.

Edited by Mark Sommelier (log)

Mark

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You can also find it at retail here.

Thanks! I ordered a bottle...we'll see what comes; they had few details (ie. 375 vs 750 ml), not even sure if this is reasonable retail prices or auction or what.

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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I opollogize . . .

Is this a Croatian joke? :blink: Because Rick Opolo is Croatian! So even if you don't like zinfandel, you should check out Opolo Winery. :biggrin:

Seriously, though, zinfandel has a distinctive pepper character that many people just never warm up to. I've noticed that people either love it or hate it. S'okay. More for me!

I suspect that it may be like coriander (fresh), which just tastes very unpleasant to about 10% of the population. It (Zinfandel) has a distictive medicinal/metallic taste which I don't like (who would?), I wonder how many other people get this flavour as well?

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I proberly prefer pinot noir over cabernet based wines, but my real preference is for anything that decently cellared to its optimum. Apart from Ruby Cabernet, which really does suck.

Tell you what, I will come up with a list of Zinfandels that are availble to me and you all can advise on the best choices. I am always ready to change my mind and if I do enjoy it I can always claim it as another triumph for the Croatian race.

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