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_204170Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93It’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!
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Old-school meets new in this Zinfandel, with just enough polish and plumpness to match the briary rusticity. Offers expressive black cherry, smoky anise and white pepper flavors. Drink now through 2024."
- 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_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_207420Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsCarlisle's not-quite-so annual QPR champ is back! Using some wonderful century-old Russian River Valley Zin not far from Limerick Lane and some relatively young, 64-year-old Zinfandel from Alexander Valley as a base, Carlisle stole bits and pieces of our Rossi, DuPratt, and Dry Creek Zins along with a little Petite Sirah from Two Acres to create this delicious over-achiever. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Tasting Note: Medium to medium-dark ruby-garnet. Intense aromas of red cherries, clove, and a pleasing earthy note. Medium-bodied, flavors of cherry and baking spices build to a gently tannic finish. Given its price point, one might conclude that this wine is meant for early consumption. Not necessarily so! While it can certainly be enjoyed now, this wine has plenty of structure to age and develop gracefully. Hence, we’d recommend giving it another year or two in bottle and then enjoying through 2028.
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "While it was a difficult vintage for Zinfandel due to the heat, you wouldn't know that by tasting these Zinfandels from Carlisle. The 2017 Zinfandel Sonoma County offers a beautiful sense of elegance and purity as well as pretty cherry fruits, violets, flowers, and spice. It's not a heavyweight yet shines for its seamless texture, integrated acidity, and a great finish. It's a steal at the price."
ANTONIO GALLONI 90-93 POINTS - "The 2017 Zinfandel (Sonoma County) is pliant and super-expressive, not to mention incredibly delicious. A beam of bright acids gives the wine energy and a surprising amount of vitality as well. Medium in body and supremely gracious, the Sonoma Zinfandel over-delivers big time. The Sonoma County is built on a core of fruit from the Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley, plus touches of Rossi, Du Pratt and Dry Creek Zinfandels and drops of Two Acres Petite Sirah. More importantly, the 2017 is an absolutely gorgeous wine. It's as simple as that."
- 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_211230Bottle Size: 750MLThe 2017 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.
The Ancient Vines Zinfandel draws primarily from a wide selection of our 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.
Blend: 97% Zinfandel, 3% Carignane
- Item #: i_216790Bottle Size: 750MLThis enticing Sonoma County wine highlights a bright red-fruit and spice expression of Zinfandel. The aromas are ripe and appealing, offering layers of strawberry jam, raspberry and sweet vanilla, as well as hints of chocolate-covered cherries and white pepper. On the palate, the entry is full and balanced with lovely cranberry notes supported by the subtle influence of fine oak.
- 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_221500Bottle Size: 750mlMounds of shaved coconut and dark chocolate covered in cranberry and blood orange relish paired with a box of black licorice and a stick of Big Red gum.
- Item #: i_226340Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Red Disciples is a Zinfandel-based blend made from a core of fruit from the Morisoli and Tofanelli vineyards in Rutherford and Calistoga, respectively. Pliant, silky and super-expressive, the 2017 is flat-out gorgeous. Bright red cherry, red plum and floral notes all add character to this lifted, gracious wine. "
- Item #: i_231030Bottle Size: 750mlThis robust, enthusiastic estate wine is 100% Primitivo. While rustic on the nose, its palate is juicy and plump, offering baked blackberry, chocolate and smoky-oaky flavors. It's all around charming and expansive on the palate, with nimble touches of smoke, black cherry and even eucalyptus. Seasoned throughout is an established layer of black pepper and cinnamon that keeps it fresh and spicy. It's obviously a wine ready to drink upon release but will be a hit for many years to come; it will reach its peak in 2025.
- Item #: i_229970Bottle Size: 750mlLocated in the Coastal Ranges of northeastern Lake County, the High Valley AVA rises between 1,600 and 3,000 feet in elevation, providing Shannon Ridge the finest mountain fruit for their High Valley label. The North facing slope of Round Mountain allows for longer hangtime while the South facing slope of Morine aids in the development of rich flavors.
- Item #: i_200008Bottle Size: EACHGREAT NEWS SAM SEBASTIANI IS BACK IN THE WINE BUSINESS!
La Chertosa is named for the magnificent 14th century Renaissance monastery in the Tuscan valley of Farneta, Italy where the Sam Sebastiani ancestral roots began.At the 2014 California State Fair,Sam won "Double Gold" - Best Micro Red Award and Best of CLASS Region for his 2012 La Cheriosa resrve Amador County Zinfandel,and his 2012.
- Item #: i_248090Bottle Size: 750MLIn just a matter of a few years, owners Rick Quinn and Dave Nichols have made Opolo one of the shining stars of Paso Robles' "Westside". Their forward, fruit driven, consumer friendly wines (and awesome tasting room staff) combine to make this spot a "must see" on any wine lover's trip to this ever-evolving region.
Harvested from their vineyards located in the Adelaide range of the Santa Lucia Mountains, the resulting grapes are of exceptional quality due to their enviable growing condition of warm days balanced by cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean. They were fermented in open top bins (not tanks), and aged in American oak, the preferred barrels for Zinfandel, for 10 months.
What does this all mean? It means that when you taste this black/garnet wine, your mouth is awash in big bold fruit flavors that feature ripe black cherries, raspberries, currants and spices. Its soft tannins, balanced acidity, and sexy profile will easily satisfy the Zin Beast in everyone!
- Item #: i_275550Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91Jeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 92-94 POINTS - "All from the estate vineyard on Howell Mountain, the 2017 Zinfandel is a complex, layered, pretty Zinfandel that's a touch reserved and inward. Notes of blackberries, plum, incense, white pepper and brambly spice all emerge from the glass of this concentrated, structured beauty that's going to benefit from a year of two of bottle age."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS -Already bottled, the 2017 Zinfandel (100% Zinfandel) was aged for 16 months in French oak, 34% new. Medium garnet-purple colored, it gives up flamboyant cherry pie, raspberry preserves and blueberry compote notes with touches of Chinese five spice, Sichuan pepper, dusty soil, dried flowers and underbrush. Full-bodied, relatively taut and chewy, it sports bold freshness on the palate, laden with spicy red and blue fruit preserves, finishing long and perfumed. 1,123 cases were made."
- 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_249710Bottle Size: 750MLPedroncelli's Mother Clone is a classic Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel with fragrant aromas of ripe berry and black plum with a touch of black pepper spice. Concentrated blackberry and fig flavors are framed by subtle toasted oak with a dusty-spicy finish. Well integrated flavors with round tannins and bright acidity are a hallmark of the Pedroncelli style. Enjoy now or cellar for three to five years.
- Item #: i_248420Bottle Size: 750MLThe Prisoner is an innovative red blend that takes its stylistic cue from the drinkable “mixed blacks” first made by Italian immigrants who originally settled the Napa Valley. In the late 90's there were a handful of Napa producers beginning to make this style of wine again and Dave Phinney became one of them.
A blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Charbono, the wine features enticing aromas of Bing cherry, dark chocolate, clove, and roasted fig. Persistent flavors of ripe raspberry, boysenberry, pomegranate, and vanilla linger harmoniously, for a smooth and luscious finish.
- Item #: i_248460Bottle Size: 750MLThe world Saldo has many different meanings in Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. In Spanish it mainly refers to balance on hand, and sometimes it can mean from here and there. This wine represents the best of the best lots made by Dave from Vineyards all across Northern California.
This wine displays a dense ruby color and intriguing aromas of black fruits and baked blueberry pie. The palette is rich and full, yet velvety, offering dense concentration of flavor backed by good acidity. This Zinfandel has a persistent, long finish of roasted coffee beans, a hint of vanilla, peppery spice, and smooth tannins.
- Item #: i_254560Bottle Size: 375MLVinous Media: 91-94**Please note, this is a half sized bottleRidge has made the Geyserville as a single-site Zinfandel in every year since 1966. The grapes are grown in three adjoining vineyards on a defined stretch of gravelly soil approximately one-and-a-quarter miles long and a half-mile wide.