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_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' 2017 Zinfandel presents bright boysenberry aromas with hints of sandalwood and vanilla. A juicy, jammy texture is loaded with generous flavors of wild raspberry, black cherry, plum, mocha and cedar. Spicy black pepper notes join mouthwatering acidity on a beautifully balanced finish.
- Item #: i_219600Bottle Size: 750mlWinery Notes: "79% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah, 6% Syrah, 4% Grenache. Lucky boxcars with this Zinfandel-dominated blend, which tumbles out on the tongue with dark cherries, fresh, ripe strawberries, a double dip of chocolate and vanilla, and the cool grip of moto jacket (aka leather). Paradise awaits. "
- Item #: i_276094Bottle Size: 750mlEberle's 2017 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 mediumbodied 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_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_277900Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "I've written it numerous time, but Linne Calodo remains one of the reference point estates in Paso Robles. Winemaker/owner Matt Trevisan consistently puts together exotic and singular blends that deliver opulence as well as balance."
"The Zinfandel-based 2016 Outsider gives up complex, textbook notes of sweet red and black fruits, cedarwood, white pepper, and incense. This is a classic Zinfandel that carries loads of fruit and richness yet stays light, elegant, and graceful on the palate, with terrific purity and freshness. It's already impossible to resist, and I see no need to delay gratification either. The blend is 82% Zinfandel, 7% each of Syrah and Mourvedre, and the balance Graciano, all brought up in new and neutral American oak."
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 94 POINTS - "Brilliant violet. Powerful dark berry and cherry liqueur aromas are complemented by building licorice, incense and pipe tobacco accents. Concentrated and fleshy on the palate, offering alluringly sweet boysenberry, cassis, cherry pie and star anise flavors and suggestions of bitter chocolate and succulent herbs. Becomes more energetic with air and finishes with superb, spice-tinged persistence and velvety tannins that shape the lush, sweet, clinging fruit."
- Item #: i_277828Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 96 POINTS - "Bright purple. Highly expressive aromas of mineral-tinged dark berry preserves, incense and candied licorice are complicated by a sexy floral nuance. Smoky and seamless in texture, offering alluringly sweet black and blue fruit, spicecake and floral pastille flavors braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Finishes with outstanding clarity, mounting tannins and floral-dominated tenacity, leaving blue fruit and exotic spice notes behind."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "The Zinfandel-dominated 2017 Problem Child (there's 19% Syrah, 14% Graciano, and 3% Carignan) has a classic Zinfandel nose of spice red and black fruits, brambly herbs, cigar tobacco, and Asian spices. Ripe, full-bodied, and incredibly polished, it has sweet tannins, no hard edges, lots of richness and depth, and a great finish."
- Item #: i_239080Bottle Size: 750mlBright dark garnet black color. Rich, fruity, jammy peppery earthy aromas of black raspberry jam, black plums, gravel, and black pepper with a bright, dry full body and a peppery, medium-length finish with firm, woody tannins and moderate oak.
- Item #: i_202220Bottle Size: 750mlMcPrice Myers' Zinfandel is a relative newcomer to his "Blue Collar" line-up. Sourced from Westside Paso vineyards it has a splash of Syrah and Mourvedre. As you would expect from Paso, this is a big, rich wine that still retains freshness, along with notes of bramble, sweet leather, red licorice, candied cherry, red plum, cherry cola, rhubarb, vanilla, pecan pie, green peppercorn, applewood smoked bacon, spearmint.
- Item #: i_249060Bottle Size: 750mlPatrick McNeil found Paydirt in the western hillsides of Paso Robles and in winemaker McPrice Myers. Patrick and McPrice focus on the cooler sites of Paso Robles, where California's greatest daily shift in temperature and limestone-rich soils provide the ideal environment for extremely rich and balanced zinfandels.
A blend of 84% Zinfandel, 6% Syrah, 4% Grenache, 3% Mourvedre, and 3% Petite Sirah, the nose is filled with ripe blackberries, plum, sweet tobacco, dark chocolate, and cranberry relish. The palate is densely packed with ripe berries, brown spice, sweet Cuban coffee, and chalky minerality. The finish is persistent, layered and vibrant, with a nice touch of spice.
- Item #: i_276740Bottle Size: 750mlWith fruit sourced from their RBZ Vineyard, Sextant's Zinfandel was blended with Syrah, Petite Sirah and Tempranillo. Fermented in Stainless Steel and aged 10 months in New and Neutral French Oak barrels.
Vintage after vintage, the Sextant Wheelhouse Zinfandel reveals itself with grace and potency. Delectable cherries flow freely on the mid-palate as plums, blackberries, and cranberries jostle on the back-palate. Inklings of smoky cedar, black olives, and spicy sage join the profile as well. It is bold and keen with flavors, but yet so balanced in structure. The acidity is poised and the tannins are finely integrated giving way to an unrelenting, enduring, and monumental finish.
- Item #: i_265800Bottle Size: 750mlIn 2003, Linne Calodo's first vintage of Slacker was born and through 2010 continued to be a portfolio staple until they totally slacked and forgot to make it again. The ethos of Slacker was always described by winemaker Matt Trevisan as, "wine representing not only the winemaker, but the idea that wines should be fun and relaxed." Forever akin to the Slacker lifestyle, they decided to bring back the Slacker name in a much more appropriate way. Now its own label, Trevisan crafted two fun blends that showcase his ability to constantly keep creating and pioneering the exciting possibilities of the Paso Robles wine region.
Wannabe is a blend of 67% Zinfandel, 22% Syrah, and 11% Mourvedre. Everyone loves a good Zinfandel, whether they want to admit it or not. This blend gives Zin the backbone it can sometimes lack, with a shot of Syrah and a long finish with the addition of Mourvedre. Reminiscent of blackberry pie and fresh, cracked pepper, thsi fruity, spicy blend is sure to bring a smile to your face. A light-bodied wine, with medium tannins and completely dry finish makes it perfect to enjoy with or without a meal. But, with food, some of our favorite pairings include roast chicken, curried pork, pizza, or even an apple pie.
- Item #: i_255280Bottle Size: 750mlThis is an elegant style of Zinfandel with up front aromas of cranberry, cherry, fresh cigar, chocolate and a subtle smokiness. On the mouth, note the impeccable balance between the use of French oak barrels 20% whole cluster fermentation, and great acidity. It finishes with silky, youthful tannins.
- Item #: i_276638Bottle Size: 750MLDeep, dark, intense, ruby color. Rich fruit berry aroma with spice. Intense raspberry and black cherry with a thick velvety texture. Full and jammy, with hints of spice and pepper on the finish.
- Item #: i_270250Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The Pesenti vineyard was planted in the 1920s on limestone soils. Deep ruby in color, the 2017 Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard gives savory notes of charcuterie over dried brambly fruits and crushed black cherries with hints of dried soil. Medium to full-bodied, it offers savory-laced fruits in the mouth with soft, grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing long with pretty dried flowers notes. 2,400 cases produced."
- Item #: i_270840Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "There are few estates in California today that are more exciting than Don Burns' Turtle Rock. Pulling from some of the top vineyards on the westside of Paso Robles and making the wines as Justin Smith's Saxum estate, Burns has consistently produced some of the wines of the vintage since his first releases in 2014. As I wrote in the past, readers interested in finding the next up and coming superstar in Paso Robles need to put Don and Claudia Burns' Turtle Rock estate at the top of their list."
"The Zinfandel-dominated 2017 Westberg Red (which includes 24% Tempranillo) is another saturated purple-colored effort from winemaker Don Burns that offers an earthy, meaty bouquet of black fruits, plums, Asian spices, flowers incense, and blood orange. It's ripe, sexy, rounded, and just a beautiful drink. I'd be thrilled to have bottles in the cellar."
ROBERT PARKER'S VINOUS MEDIA 95 POINTS - "A blend of 76% Zinfandel and 24% Tempranillo aged 22 months in 60% new oak, the medium ruby-purple colored 2017 Westberg Red is scented of cranberry, sour cherries, sliced peaches, purple flowers, earth and charcuterie, blossoming with time to loads of bright, high-toned nuances. Medium to full-bodied, it explodes with perfumed flavor layers, gently framed but über juicy, finishing long and loaded with flavor. 195 cases were made."