Zinfandel (also known as Primitivo) is a variety of black-skinned wine grape. DNA fingerprinting has revealed that it is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grape Crljenac, as well as to the Primitivo variety traditionally grown in Apulia (the "heel" of Italy), where it was introduced in the 18th century. The grape found its way to the United States in the mid-19th century, where it became known by variations of the name "Zinfandel". The grapes typically produce a robust red wine. The grape's high sugar content can be fermented into levels of alcohol exceeding 15 percent. The taste of the red wine depends on the ripeness of the grapes from which it is made. Red berry fruit flavors like raspberry predominate in wines from cooler areas, whereas blackberry, anise and pepper notes are more common in wines made in warmer areas and in wines made from the earlier-ripening Primitivo clone.
- Item #: i_215520Bottle Size: 750mlStructured and full-bodied with a subtle hint of spice. On the palate, dense, dark fruit characteristics are reminiscent of blueberry pie. Notes of toasted oak and vanilla meld with a plush, lingering mouthfeel.
- Item #: i_207350Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92Vinous Media: 94Winery's Tasting Notes: "Dark to very dark ruby-garnet. Much deeper in color than many other Zinfandels in this vintage. An intense nose of blood orange, raspberry (zinberry!), and licorice allsorts. Very expressive and very striking. Totally seamless and polished on the palate with flavors of orange rind and red berry fruit. This is an incredibly nuanced and texturally alluring Zinfandel that is more expressive and approachable than the 2014 rendition. Drink from release to 2024."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "A gorgeous wine, the 2015 Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard is bright and punchy, with plenty of red cherry, raspberry and floral notes pushed forward. Silky and racy in the glass, this mid-weight Zinfandel is impeccable. The Carlisle is super-finessed in 2015. As usual, the Carlisle is predominantly Zinfandel, with about 12% mixed white and black grapes (a total of 40 varieties), all co-fermented."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Supple and refined, with floral blueberry, mint and clove aromas and layered black raspberry and savory pepper flavors that take on complexity on the finish. Drink now through 2027. 788 cases made."
- Item #: i_207270Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 94Vinous Media: 92Planted in 1934 shortly after the repeal of Prohibition by Celestino Papera, this vineyard is a bit of an anomaly in that it contains much less in the way of mixed blacks than we typically see in vineyards of this era. And interestingly, the majority of the mixed blacks that are present is Carignane. Carignane is a late ripener and high in acidity making it a curious choice for this very cool site. Nevertheless, it seems to work, producing a powerfully elegant Zinfandel. Twenty percent new French oak. Filtered but unfined.
Very dark ruby-garnet, almost opaque. Head-turning aromas of framboise and kirsch are complemented by notes of fresh tobacco leaf, spun sugar, and spearmint leaves. What a sniff! On the palate, fullbodied but my-oh-my, so seamless, so well-balanced. Flavors of red currant, macerated cherries, and a hint of pleasing herbaceousness build through the long, smooth finish. Truly one of our top Papera Zinfandels to date. Enjoy from release through 2024.
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "A compelling wine, with expressive blackberry and briary underbrush aromas and refined yet evocative cherry, smoky mint and pepper aromas that linger toward plump tannins. Best from 2019 through 2027."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Zinfandel Papera Ranch offers a good initial burst of dark cherry and plum fruit, but then has a bit less persistence follow-through on the mid-palate and finish. Succulent and forward, the 2015 looks like it will drink well upon release. This is not an especially subtle style."
- 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_277760Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 91WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Dark and brooding, with black cherry and bittersweet chocolate aromas and plump flavors of orange zest, black licorice and smoky cracked pepper. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane and Viognier. Drink now through 2027."
- Item #: i_216630Bottle Size: 750MLWinemaker's Notes: "This vintage presents enticing aromatics of dried cranberry and boysenberry with hints of cocoa powder, nutmeg, dried sage and cedar. On the palate, brambly flavors of blackberry and black cherry come forward with bright acidity complimented by deeper notes of dark chocolate, espresso and black 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 and a round, rich mouthfeel."
- Item #: i_247230Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 91The Russian River Valley Zinfandel is a reflection of the quality of the vineyards involved in making this wine. This Zin comes almost exclusively from the Jensen Lane Vineyard (planted in 1915), the Limerick Lane Vineyard (planted in 1910), and the Carlisle Vineyard (planted in 1927). These older vine vineyards give us great fruit quality and concentration, while their Russian River Valley location helps provide good, crisp acidity making for a Zinfandel that is lively and extremely well-balanced.
WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Vibrant and jammed with fresh pepper and black licorice aromas, leading to zesty, well-built blackberry pie and cinnamon flavors. Drink now through 2025. 1,686 cases made."
- Item #: i_257910Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 90This wine is from Sonoma County sub-region and Dry Creek Valley appellation. Ginos Vineyard is a five-acre parcel in the rocky hillsides on the eastern bench of the valley. The vineyard was planted to Zinfandel about 25 years ago and produces quintessential Dry Creek Zin style wines with lots of brownginger spices and juicy raspberry and cherry fruit.
WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "A gutsy version, with bold blackberry and licorice aromas and plump black cherry, briary sage and pepper flavors. Drink now through 2022. 2,059 cases made."
- Item #: i_259230Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93The Seghesio wines seem to always light up our mouths with a combination of great flavors that you just don't get in many other Zinfandels. They have established quite a consistent track record for high scores on their wines! More recent rendition of Seghesio's Zinfandels have earned places on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines list, and if the current releases and scores are any indications, they are a shoe-in to make it on this list for 2018!
Seghesio Family Vineyards was established in 1895 when Italian immigrant and winemaker Edoardo Seghesio planted his first Zinfandel vineyard in what is now Seghesio's Home Ranch Vineyard in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley. Edoardo and his wife Angela continued to tend their vineyards through Prohibition and were one of approximately 100 wineries to survive that era. Post-prohibition, Seghesio was a key supplier of grapes and bulk wine to large California wineries. Today, fourth generation family member Ted Seghesio makes the Seghesio wines and the family has become renowned for exceptional Zinfandels and Italian varietals.
Their Sonoma County Zinfandel comes from diverse lots of Zinfandel that span the Sonoma landscape. Each of these lots is produced under the careful eye of Ted Seghesio and he blends a small amount of Petite Sirah to honor century old traditions and to provide color and structure.
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Loaded with rich, jammy fruit, this plump Zin is a pleasure to drink, with bold accents of wild berry, spicy cinnamon and licorice that glide dynamically toward plush tannins. Drink now through 2025."