- 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 2017 "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_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_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_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_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_226320Bottle Size: 750mlIn 1885, Dr. George Beldon Crane planted an assortment of grape vines on an eight-acre plot of land, just south of St. Helena. Today, it is one of the oldest vineyards in the Napa Valley, consisting of a field blend traditionally known as "mixed blacks". Although records are scarce, the vines likely consist of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignan and to a lesser extent, Alicante Bouschet, Mourvedre and Valdiguie. Of the eight acres currently in production, approximately four contain a mixture of G.B. Crane's original head trained vines with newer plantings from the 1930s interspersed. The other four acres consist of a 1.6-acre block of Cabernet Sauvignon, a 1.4-acre block of Petite Sirah, and two rows of Merlot. With such a storied history and enormous potential, GB Crane purchased the eight-acre vineyard in 2012 with one goal: to preserve this piece of California viticultural history and produce a wine that both represents and respects that heritage.
The El Coco blend changes every year, and this time it's a blend of 56% Petite Sirah, 35% Zinfandel, and 9% Merlot. The 2018 El Coco pours vivid violet and sits with a dark crimson core and a Black Baccara Rose rim. Awash with complex and changing aromas, the nose starts with ripe blue fruits and brambly framboise, then opens up to some crème de menthe and cigar box. Seamless yet broad on entry, the palate is rife with blueberry, black cherry and a hint of white pepper. Plush, effortlessly balanced and with round, soft tannins, the finish is the epitome of length; it builds and eventually blooms to a satiating note of dark pluot.
- Item #: i_228810Bottle Size: 750MLHartford Family Winery began back in 1994 by Don and Jennifer Hartford. Since their inaugural release in 1996, Hartford has continued to produce wines with lots of personality and charisma. The single vineyard wines they produce range from as little as 90 to 800 cases and receive high accolades from the top wine critics. The Old Vine Zinfandel is produced from true old vines planted 80-100 years ago from some of California's oldest Zinfandel vineyards.
- 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_239980Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2018 Zinfandel Giuseppe and Luisa is, in my view, once again the most distinctive Zinfandel in this range. Bright acids, floral overtones and chiseled red fruit scream with Russian River character. Medium in body, gracious and beautifully perfumed, the Giuseppe and Luisa is flat-out gorgeous. I loved it."
- Item #: i_248220Bottle Size: 750mlAn opaque core with a red amethyst rim, the wine opens with ripe raspberry and blackberry, dark plum preserves and hints of black pepper and clove. An entry of heft, the palate is packed with blueberry and sweet black cherry along with touch of fresh herbs—thyme, savory and tarragon. Long on the finish, the ripe tannins, a dash of ash, and notes of black tea round out the wine.
- 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_254500Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Wine Spectator: 93Vinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 95A few weeks ago, we e-mailed out the Ridge Pagani Zin. Now we were blown away by the quality of the wine, but the demand from you, our customers, showed that we were not alone in loving the wines from Ridge. So, in keeping the good wines coming, we have just secured an allotment of Ridge's Geyserville Zinfandel-blend, and this wine has scored even higher than the Pagani that sold out a few weeks ago!
Ridge has made the Geyserville as a single-site Zinfandel every year since 1966! The grapes are grown in three adjoining vineyards on a defined stretch of gravelly soil on the western edge of Alexander Valley. The vines on the property range in age from 15 - 125 years, making them some of the oldest vines in California! Carignane and Petite Sirah are interplanted in the vineyard, a method called mixed-blacks, and are fermented along with the Zinfandel for greater harmony. Both primary and secondary fermentations occur naturally (they are not inoculated), and the wine is aged entirely in American oak barrels, which is the historic norm for Zinfandel.
This Geyserville bottling has every bit of pedigree and excitement as the Pagani bottling, yet the Geyserville has earned 96 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, making it one of the highest scoring Zins or Zin-blends of the vintage! Grab it now while you can!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2018 Geyserville is a blend of 68% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 10% Petite Sirah and 2% Alicante Bouschet. It's incredibly alluring, offering up layers of warm, tricolored fruits and loads of spicy accents on the nose, with a dusty, mineral-tinged undercurrent that adds to its appeal. In the mouth, it's generously fruited and fantastically juicy, its silt-like tannins providing just enough support, and it finishes very long and layered. 9,900 cases produced."
JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "A wine that always delivers, the 2018 Geyserville from Ridge comes all from a single vineyard in the Alexander Valley and checks in as 68% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 10% Petite Sirah, and the rest Alicante Bouschet. It has a big, cedary bouquet of red and black plums, sandalwood, potpourri, and Asian spices that develops and fills out nicely with time in the glass. This carries to a more medium-bodied Zinfandel that has wonderful purity of fruit, present yet ripe tannins, flawless balance, and a great, great finish. This structured yet ethereal example of this cuvee ranks with the finest vintages to date. Drink it any time over the coming 10-15 years."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94+ POINTS - "The 2018 Geyserville is an infant. That much is obvious, especially in this lineup of otherwise more settled 2018s. Ripe Zinfandel flavors drive the overall profile. A blast of wild cherry, leather, tobacco, smoke, licorice, menthol and spice hit the palate first, followed by swaths of tannin and a touch of new oak that suggest the wine still needs time to come together. Readers should be in no rush. I am not sure the 2018 will ever be truly refined, as it is quite burly today. Aeration helps to some degree. The fermentations at Geyserville were slow to start and slow to finish. That longer time of extraction comes through in potent tannins that will likely always mark the wine."
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS -"Robust yet brooding, with multilayered black plum, licorice and Asian five-spice powder flavors that build richness toward big, briary tannins. Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet. Best from 2022 through 2030"
- Item #: i_254580Bottle Size: 375MLVinous Media: 96**Please note, this is a half sized bottleANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "The 2018 Lytton Springs is magnificent. Elegant, layered and so complete, the 2018 has a lot to offer, but it needs time to fully come together. Sweet red cherry, red plum, blood orange, spice, mint and rose petal open up in the glass. Bright acids and beams of tannin give the wine its vibrant energy. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2018 for at least a few years. Wow!"
- Item #: i_254590Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 96ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "The 2018 Lytton Springs is magnificent. Elegant, layered and so complete, the 2018 has a lot to offer, but it needs time to fully come together. Sweet red cherry, red plum, blood orange, spice, mint and rose petal open up in the glass. Bright acids and beams of tannin give the wine its vibrant energy. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2018 for at least a few years. Wow!"
- Item #: i_254660Bottle Size: 750MLJeb Dunnuck: 93Ridge Vineyards Three Valley red has been one of our best-selling blends in our Zinfandel section for many years. Its style is in the middle, not quit classic but also not on the "jammy" end of the spectrum either, showing dark fruit, hints of pepper and spices and tobacco notes. A blend of 70% Zinfandel, 45% Petite Sirah, 12% Carignane, and 2% Grenache, texturally this vintage shows a lot of finesse, its medium body glides across the palate with ease. Whether you are popping this with BBQ foods / roasted meats or just enjoying a glass over a good conversation this easy drinking red over delivers!
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "The 2018 Three Valleys is another terrific 2018 from this team. A blend of 70% Zinfandel, 14% Petite Sirah, 12% Carignan, and the rest Mataro, it plays in the medium-bodied, elegant end of the spectrum and has wonderful purity in its blue fruits, peppery herbs, violets, and sandalwood aromas and flavors. Nicely textured, elegant, and seamless on the palate, with good acidity, this ethereal, balanced beauty can be drunk today or cellared for 10-15 years."
- Item #: i_205230Bottle Size: 375ml**Please note, this is a half sized bottle"Hey Aldo, when you stop by this Friday, bring me a few pounds of walnuts, some fruits and veggies, a couple dozen eggs and a Black Chicken!" - This was one of the many covert orders placed to Aldo Biale.
For over 70 years starting in 1937 the Biale family has been growing Zinfandel along with a variety of produce. Back then, a young Aldo Biale used to deliver eggs to local customers. Along with those eggs and produce a teenaged Aldo began discreetly selling his homemade wine to a few wine-loving locals in Napa. Because his rural home phone was a "party line" frequented by nosy eavesdroppers, enterprising Aldo used a code name whereby his customers could order wine without the risk of revealing his secret Zinfandel operation. Thus "Black Chicken" was born - the nickname for a jug of homemade wine from young Aldo's barrels hidden in the barn.
In 1991 Aldo teamed up with his son Robert and a couple other key figures to form Robert Biale Vineyards and with such long standing history, grapes and winemaking Robert Biale Vineyards gained recognition and a cultish following by Zinfandel fanatics.
The Black Chicken bottling is sourced primarily from Biale's estate vineyards in the Oak Knoll district. Round, plush, a gentle grip of perfectly ripe tannins, a spectrum of red and dark fruits - raspberries, cherries, blackberries, watermelon, bright vivid aromas, fine-grained texture, star anise, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, black and white pepper, cocoa, subtle nuanced oak. Age worthy, compelling, decadent: a beautifully proportioned Napa Valley Zinfandel. If cellared well, this wine will continue to improve for the next 3-5 years.