- Item #: i_211210Bottle Size: 750mlWe have been looking for a delicious Zinfandel at this price point for some time, and we think we've found a winner! Ancient Peaks sits in the Paso Robles appellation, 22 miles south of the city of Paso Robles and just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Here, the surrounding peaks of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range act as a gateway between the ocean-cooled environs below the grade and the warmer climes above the grade. When the days heat up in the areas north and east of Margarita Vineyard, the air rises to create a vacuum that pulls marine breezes and fog inland over the peaks, and right through the vineyard. This means the fruit gets ripe, without any "off" flavors, yet the cooling afternoon breezes help the resulting wine to retain freshness and acidity.
Ancient Peaks' 2018 Zinfandel offers deep, savory aromas of black cherry and plum with notes of vanilla, tobacco and dusty spice. Bright, brambly flavors of red raspberry and boysenberry unfold across a juicy texture with hints of cedar wood and black tea. Fresh acidity adds lift and structure to a sleek, peppery finish.
- Item #: i_204170Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 91It’s easy to say that Morgan Twain-Peterson was born into the wine industry… so let’s start there. Morgan is the son of legendary Ravenswood winemaker and Zinfandel legend Joel Peterson. At the age of 5, Morgan was able to distinguish Merlot from Zinfandel, and being the son of Joel, that made for some early learning of winemaking basics and eventually the essential techniques for fine winemaking. But Joel didn’t stop there. He went onto other wineries and regions to learn other methods, like working in the McLaren Vale region of Australia, and even working as a visiting winemaker at Château Lynch Bages in Bordeaux. Oh yeah…and he passed the Master of Wine exam!
Morgan only works with high quality fruit from high quality sites and ferments them in open top redwood and stainless steel fermenters then ages them in the sexiest French barrels from the coldest forests. The results are tremendous wines that range in style from opulent to elegant, yet taste exceptionally balanced!
ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2018 Zinfandel Old Vine is bright, floral and beautifully perfumed. Crushed red berries, flowers and sweet spice give the 2018 a very pretty sense of lift. In 2018, the Old Vine is especially gracious and light on its feet. The blend incorporates fruit from a number of top sites, including Bedrock, Teldeschi, Esola, Pagani, Papera, Evangelho and Pato."
- Item #: i_205540Bottle Size: 750mlHead-trained and dry farmed vines continue to be the source for Bogle's Old Vine Zinfandel. These gnarly old vines produce concentrated fruit of unsurpassed quality and intensity. This full-bodied vintage shows itself with rich black raspberry notes that round out in the mouth, accompanied by the scents of summer fruit jam bubbling on the stove. Juniper berry and cinnamon stick join the spiciness of red and black peppercorns as they integrate with the supple fruit and lead toward the finish. Toasty oak and cloves are the perfect finishing touch.
- Item #: i_232600Bottle Size: 750MLBranham's 2018 "Jazz" trio continues to bring down the house! Presenting their group from the Napa Valley: 40% Petit Verdot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 30% Petite Sirah. Sitting in for a short solo is the accomplished "Branham Rockpile fruit." Encore after encore, this proprietary blend never fails to satisfy the eye and palate. Refined melodies of black-plum, dark berries and coffee notes are enhanced by a purposeful symmetry of balanced tannins and acidity. Pair with music!
- Item #: i_206230Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker Erik miller was inspired to begin this new project by an emerging style of California wines that are lighter in alcohol, crunchy in acidity, and bright in appearance. Erik was originally introduced to this style of wine by Cru Beaujolais, and decided to craft their own interpretation of this from two of their favorite varietals, Zinfandel and Grenache. The defining characteristic is whole-cluster fermentation (carbonic maceration), which lends a crunchy, herbaceous character to the wine. The goal is a very hands-off approach to winemaking that highlights the purity of fruit, and deliciousness of a lighter bodied red wine that preferably should be served slightly chilled.
The defining characteristic is whole-cluster fermentation (carbonic maceration). Breaking Bread uses all native yeast for spontaneous fermentation, all native bacteria for malolactic fermentation, and add no Sulphur throughout fermentation. The goal is a very hands-off approach to winemaking that highlights the purity of fruit, and deliciousness of a lighterbodied red wine. The result is a fresh, crisp wine, that preferably should be served slightly chilled, which has a back bone of acidity and an unmistakable minerality that leaves your palate wanting more.
- Item #: i_206620Bottle Size: 750MLIn 1980 when the Brown family stumbled upon their now renowned property in the Chiles Valley sub-appellation of the Napa Valley, it was but a ghost ranch up the hill east of Rutherford. Five years later they planted vineyards and for a decade they farmed and sold wine grapes. In 1995 the second generation, encouraged by growing demand for their fruit, established the Brown Estate label and began making their own wines.
Brown's flagship Napa Valley Zinfandel historically has borne the responsibility of being the ultimate representative of what their property and its unique microclimate have to offer — the cream of the Brown Estate zinfandel crop blended into one stellar wine. Rich magenta hue in the glass. Nose opens with abundant floral notes of hibiscus, dried rose petals, and violet followed by fruit notes of black plum, blackberry, and dried orange peels. Nose finishes with fresh cut wood/sawdust, fir balsam, and a hint of tangy soy/umami. Medium-plus palate layered with bramble fruit up front, leading into dried herbs, exotic spices, and dusty earth. Long finish with well-balanced acid and tannins. Drink now through 2028.
- Item #: i_206480Bottle Size: 750ML
The grapes are a mix of those off their estate vineyards and grapes from other select Napa Valley low-yielding vineyards. Dry-farmed for over 20 years, their 4.5 acre estate block consists of mature thirty-seven year old vines which typically yield around 2.5 tons/acre of hillside fruit. Interspersed among the head-trained vines are a handful of Petite Sirah vines representing perhaps 5% of the total vines in this block. A traditional field companion to Zinfandel in pre-prohibition California vineyards, Petite Sirah contributes pepper, color, and tannin structure to the wine.
- Item #: i_207380Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92Under the expert farming of organic specialist Phil Coturri, Rossi Ranch has quickly returned to its former glory. Lots to be excited about here, as the fruit comes from vines planted in 1910! Medium-dark ruby-garnet. With aeration and swirling, aromas of kirsch liqueur and briery spice emerge from the glass. On the palate, tightly coiled but at the same time very poised and polished with no rusticity. Red fruits are echoed in the energetic, mineral-laden finish. Exceptionally well-balanced, this wine will age well and develop further complexity. When to drink? Wait a couple of years and then enjoy from 2020 to 2026.
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Features briary notes in spades, plus vibrant black raspberry, cracked pepper and anise flavors. Best from 2019 through 2027."
- Item #: i_207490Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92-95ANTONIO GALLONI 92-95 POINTS - "The 2018 Zinfandel Montafi Ranch is another compelling wine in this range from Carlisle. Ripe red cherry, cedar and sweet tobacco are all beautifully lifted. With a bit of air, the Montafi starts to show its considerable weight and resonance. The 11% mixed blacks add quite a bit of character."
- Item #: i_277784Bottle Size: 750MLThe name Rocky Reserve comes from the deep red, rocky soils of the Florence Vineyard, 1400 feet above Lake Sonoma and Dry Creek Valley. This is a more elegant and restrained Zin, worthy of five or more years of cellaring, though it is packed with fragrant black and blue berry fruits.Nice dark-red in color, big blueberry-blackberry fruit, spicy-chocolatey oak, nicely focused acidity enhances mineral flavors, elegantly structured tannins for aging, super plush long finish!
- Item #: i_219630Bottle Size: 750mlZinfandel is California's heritage grape. Chronic Cellars loves Zin and loves to blend with it even more. It has all the fruit that one could want and is always accepting to bring in some friends to play with. The added spice of Tempranillo compliments the white pepper of the zin. Then there's the meat, smoke and leather of Syrah, which one can never go wrong with. Add in petite sirah and tannat with its big tannins, and it will always be a game winner. A blend of 74% Zinfandel, 15% Tempranillo, 16% Petite Sirah, 8% Tempranillo, and 2% Alicante Bouschet.
- Item #: i_211230Bottle Size: 750MLThe Ancient Vines Zinfandel draws primarily from a wide selection of their oldest, most historic and shyest-bearing Zinfandel blocks in Contra Costa County. Grapes were planted by Italian and Portuguese immigrants in the sandy, phylloxera-resistant soils of Oakley, California more than 100 years ago.
The 2018 Ancient Vines Zinfandel shows spicy, bright strawberry, with coffee and chocolate characters. Ripe fruit and soft tannins make this a mouth-coating rich vintage. Aging on new and used oak has lent this wine a subtle vanilla quality that nicely complements the explosive fruit notes. Enjoy now or cellar for 5 to 7 years.
- Item #: i_209561Bottle Size: 750mlCharlie II is the eldest of the fifth-generation of Napa Valley Wagners, and he oversees production for Mer Soleil, Silver, and Conundrum Red wines. He recalls seeing his grandfather blend wines based on taste rather than tradition, and those wines turned out delicious, and in developing the Conundrum red wine, Charlie II took his grandfather's approach. Deep garnet in color, the nose is floral with tones of lavender mixed with rich notes of dried berries, baking chocolate, and bacon. The palate is silky and round on the entry with acid to balance the high fruit concentration. This is a fruit forward wine, yet still has a good core of tannin to give the wine structure.
- Item #: i_232890Bottle Size: 750mlNamed for the old grist mill that was found on the property, Grist sits pretty at 1000 ft. elevation on Bradford Mountain in the Dry Creek Valley AVA. The site was originally planted 100 years ago, and has since been replanted in the early 1970s. Farming here is CCOF Organic. The 58 acres under vine are head trained and cane pruned, and have spectacular views of the fog line driving in 15 miles west from the Pacific Ocean. Between Grist and the beachfront lie 15 miles of mountain lions, deer, and unspoiled forest.
- Item #: i_232910Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 90 PointsEhren Jordan is a man of many talents, and many styles. For 18 years, he was the winemaker at Turley, crafting full-bodied, rich, opulent, spicy, and complex Zinfandels that would set the world on fire. We never received enough of the Turley wines, because the demand of their mailing list, but when we did get them, the wines would sell out in a day or two. To this day, we get more inquiries for Turley than almost any other Zinfandel.
Around the time Ehren started his stint as winemaker for Turley, he also started up his own winery with his wife, which they called Failla. In contrast to the hedonistic style of the Turley wines, the Failla wines were restrained, elegant, bright, fresh, yet amazingly complex Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that would receive high praise from the critics. Now, we never saw a Zinfandel from Failla, and everybody speculated it was because he was still making the Turley Zins, but after Ehren and Turley parted ways in 2013, we figured it was only a matter of time until we saw something, because to be honest, Ehren is just so talented. Well…we're happy to say that the Day, so to speak, has come!
"Day" is the name of Ehren Jordan's new Zinfandel, and is a return to his winemaking roots. Similar to the approach at Failla, most of the Day Zinfandel wines are sourced from Sonoma County. Great sites, old vines, and gentle winemaking remain the production philosophy for Day. Ehren is more than thrilled to work with some of California's finest Zinfandel vineyards in Russian River, Dry Creek, and Alexander Valleys.
JEB DUNNUCK 90-92 POINTS - "From the team at Failla, the 2017 Zinfandel looks to be one heck of a base appellation blend, offering loads of plums, black raspberries, spice, and classic cedar notes. This medium to full-bodied, rounded, charming barrel sample is going to drink nicely right out of the gate yet keep for a decade."
- Item #: i_216630Bottle Size: 750MLThe 2018 Heritage Vines Zinfandel is delicious and beautifully balanced. This vintage presents enticing aromatics of boysenberry, cranberry and plum with hints of coriander, cardamom and dark chocolate. On the palate, brambly flavors of blackberry and black cherry come forward. The wine is complex, with bright acidity complimented by deeper notes of cumin, black pepper and white pepper. The tannins are silky and smooth to lend a round, rich mouthfeel. From start to finish, this remarkable wine offers refreshing acidity paired with excellent structure.
- Item #: i_276094Bottle Size: 750mlEberle's 2018 Zinfandel has a palate and nose that is filled with rich blackberry, ripe raspberry and vivid strawberry combined with spices of black pepper, clove, and cinnamon. A medium-bodied wine that is well-balanced and embodies true varietal characteristics. This wine often surprises those expecting a big and bold Zinfandel, as our version shows restraint and balance bringing forth how elegant a Zinfandel can be.
- Item #: i_218260Bottle Size: 750MLThis 2017 Mendocino County Zinfandel begins with concentrated aromas of baking spices including; cinnamon and cloves. Those spices give way to aromas of blackberries, black currants, and dried sage. The texture is round, and the fruit expression is focused and lush. Subtle and integrated tannins accentuate the richness of the wine, while pleasant acidity keeps it fresh on the finish.
- Item #: i_221500Bottle Size: 750mlPours the color of darkest night. Heady aromas of bleuberry pie, luxurious suede couches, ham paninis, unlit menthol cigarettes and roquefort tarts. Firm tannins anchor flavors of grilled meats, cherry cola, sweet carob and black licorice chews, all cased up together conveniently in a cigar humidifier. Drink now. You know you're going to, anyway.
- Item #: i_222300Bottle Size: 750mlFontanella Family's 2013 Zinfandel is an incredible showcase of the wide variety of micro-climates and growing conditions available in the Napa Valley. Four different Zinfandel vineyards from four different Napa Valley AVA's have been artfully blended together to create their signature Zinfandel: smooth and approachable with surprising depth and effortless balance. A bouquet of brioche, blackberries, huckleberries, and a dusting of black pepper invite you into a mouthful of red fruits, fig, and black currant with young, velvety tannins and bright acidity creating satisfying structure.
- Item #: i_223290Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2018 Zinfandel is composed of 86% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah, 2% Pinot Noir and 1% Sangiovese. Deep garnet-purple colored, it delivers compelling notes of stewed red and black plums, fruitcake and raspberry pie with touches of Chinese five spice and potpourri. Full-bodied, the palate has loads of decadently spicy red and black fruit layers, framed by chewy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing on a lingering peppery note."
- Item #: i_226340Bottle Size: 750mlThe backbone of the 2018 Disciples Red Wine comes from the Morisoli Vineyard in Rutherford and the Tofanelli Vineyard in Calistoga. The Morisoli's have been farming their plot of land for 5 generations, dating back to the 1890's. The Tofanelli's have been farming their ranch since 1929 and grow some of Napa's most coveted field blend varietals.
A blend of 49% Zinfandel, 19% Petite Sirah, 10% Charbono, 9% Grenache, 7% Syrah, and 6% Merlot, strawberry preserves leap from the glass initially, followed by a bouquet of floral aromatics: lavender, violets and roses. Rich earthy notes of freshly plowed soil, fresh rain on warm granite and petrichor. Spicy, but not a peppery spice, more of a star anise spiciness, tart raspberries and sweet plouts, with a very long, dusty finish of strawberry cream, vanilla and caramelized sugar that lingers.... smooth and luscious!
- Item #: i_226570Bottle Size: 750MLGrayson Cellars has a pretty simple, straight-forward approach to their winemaking. They asked their winemaker, Larry Levin (Dry Creek, Quintessa, Mt. Veeder), to search throughout California's finest growing regions to find the best grapes. They then made small lots of handcrafted wines and numbered them. Then, they offered them at a fair price.
The Lot 12 Zin is clearly evidence that their plan worked--and worked quite well. This is a great Zinfandel -- it hasall the lush, forward fruit you hope for in a California Zin (raspberry, kirsch, strawberry), nice spice components (vanilla, cinnamon), a bit of old-world bramble and enwrapping it all is a backbone of acidity making this completely food-friendly. So whether you're grinding on wurst, dogs, BBQ, tailgate fare, pizza, whatever-- this Zin will work oh-so-well on all levels and cylinders.
- Item #: i_226620Bottle Size: 750mlA zesty blend from their three mountain vineyards at 1,000 to 1,700 ft overlooking Chiles Canyon. Dark cherry and raspberry flavors with tinges of bay leaf and clove. Accompanies wood grilled vegetables and marbled meats.