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_200700Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96-99ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96-99 POINTS - "A barrel sample, the 2017 Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard comes from a warmer site in the Russian River (usually picked second after Sugar Shack) planted to Montrachet clone on very rocky, gravelly soils—the vines really struggle here. It has quite a decadent nose of pineapple upside down cake, almond croissant, peach cobbler and apple crumble with hints of marzipan and orange blossoms. The palate is full-bodied, rich, powerful and opulent in the mouth, with a wonderful oiliness to the texture and a seamless backbone of freshness to give it just enough lift, finishing very long and savory. This is a powerhouse that should offer amazing aging potential."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95-98 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard is incredibly expressive. Montrachet clone in this hillside Russian River site yields a Chardonnay of real distinction and nuance. A hint of reduction adds brightness to a core of candied orange, butter, vanillin and tropical notes. Even with all of its intensity, the 2017 is bright, focused and wonderfully lifted. Readers who can find it should not hesitate."
- 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_207390Bottle Size: 750mlBlending is always surprising. You can have two great components for a wine, both worthy of being bottled on their own, but when fully blended together, they do not result in the best wine. As a result, sometimes a portion of a component gets left out. Such was the case when it came to blending Carlisle's "Big 3" – Carlisle, Papera, and Montafi. Fortunately, the "leftovers" of these three wines melded seamlessly together to create an insanely yummy wine showcasing the terroir of this cool growing area of the Russian River Valley. Twenty-six percent new oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Tasting Note: Medium-dark to dark garnet-ruby. Intense aromas of cherry, cactus pear, pomegranate, and a subtle note of baking spice. Full-bodied but so well-balanced. Flavors of red and black fruits linger in the long and powerful finish. Compared to the '16, slightly darker in profile yet this offers more immediate enjoyment. Drink this lip-smackin' Zinfandel from release through 2026.
ANTONIO GALLONI 91-94 POINTS - "The 2017 Zinfandel Piner-Olivet Ranches is absolutely gorgeous. Silky and inviting, with lovely creaminess, the Piner-Olivet Ranches has so much to offer. Juicy dark red berry, blood orange, mint, spice and pomegranate infuse a super-expressive Russian River Zinfandel endowed with tremendous class. The 2017 is a blend of fruit from Carlisle, Papera and Montafi, all top sites in their own right. This is one of the highlights in the range."
- Item #: i_228760Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Vinous Media: 94ROBERT PARKER 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Zinfandel Hartford Vineyard comes from head-trained vines planted over 100 years ago, and they are incredibly low-yielding. The wine was aged in 100% French oak, of which 50% is new, and like all these wines, was bottled unfined and unfiltered. This is a big wine at 15.2% natural alcohol, but there's not a bit of heat to it. Its flamboyant, dramatic aromatics consist of black fruits, red fruits, licorice, roasted herbs, and smoked game. The wine has fabulous fruit on the attack, is full-bodied, and the red and black fruit combo follows through to a long finish of a good 40+ seconds. This is a stunner to drink over the next 6-10 years."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "One of the many highlights in this range, the 2015 Zinfandel Dina's Vineyard is also the most expressive of these six Zinfandels from Hartford. Bright aromatics and striking delineation are two of the signatures in this finely-sculpted, nuanced Zinfandel. Blood orange and a host of citrus notes add brightness throughout. This is a lovely showing."
- Item #: i_228690Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "Medium to deep garnet-purple, the 2016 Hartford Zinfandel Dina's Vineyard comes leaping forth from the glass with arresting, gorgeous floral scents of violets, lavender and roses with a core of cherry cordial, blueberry compote, blackberry tart and dried mulberries plus wafts of spice box and and dark chocolate. Full, firm and with a racy line of freshness lifting the concentrated fruit, it finishes very long with tons of mineral, floral and spicy layers. 257 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94+ POINTS - "The 2016 Zinfandel Dina's Vineyard is deep, unctuous and full of flavor, yet also has quite a bit of the freshness that is so typical of Russian River Zinfandels, especially in this vintage. The Dina's has a bit more tannin and structure than the other wines in the range, which makes it reticent. Dollops of Alicante add character and personality to this super-expressive Zinfandel from Hartford."
- 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."