Zinfandel has suffered something of a bad rap recently, with people thinking immediately either “white zin” or “jammy zin”. The truth, of course, is that there is much more to America’s Heritage Grape than those two simple interpretations.
With zinfandel grown all over California, as well as all over the world, it is one of the most diverse varieties in both grape and style. From Primativo to Crljenak Kastelanski, the genetic make up is the same – but both terroir and winemaking style yield vastly different results.
Here in California, the areas of Sonoma, Paso Robles, Lodi, and the Sierra Foothills are well known for their Zinfandel. Today, I am reveing 4 different zinfandels that are perfect for your thaknsgivng talbel.
Bright red and red flowers on the nose. Black cherry, baking spices leaping out of the glass. The first sip surprises you with the acidity, and cranberry overwhelms . Rosehips and hibiscus dance around my mouth with juicy ripe strawberries on the mid palate. It finishes with white pepper and chalk, and mouthwatering rhubarb. There is nothing jammy about this zinfandel. $25
Another classic, La Storia has been making excellent zinfandel for years. This block designate has the immediate sense of presence from warm Alexander Valley, with dried cherry, prune, and raisin on the nose. Boysenberry jam and cherry compare on the palate are rich but not overly jammy. There is still a hint of red current and a nice cranberry note that keeps the acid in balance . Finishes with a cloud of black pepper. Big and bold but not a bruiser. $22
Softer and earthier on the nose, clear aromas of blackberry and bosenberry. Jammy at first, but the inky dark color belies the spicybackground. Coffee, roasted meats, the slightest hint of campfire, the classic blue and black fruit of Paso Robles come out to play. With over a dozen differnet zinfandels on Peachy Canyon’s roster, this is a classic stewed fruit and raisey Paso example. $22
Erostasia Reserve Old Vine Lodi
Probably one of the most well known zinfandel regions, Lodi has been producing big, bold wines for over 100 years. This classic example is perfect for a cold winter night, with stewed fruit, prune, and boysenberry jam layered in strong baking spices like nutmeg, the dark notes of smoked meat, and stewed fruit are accented by the 22 months in new oak, and you can taste the classic vanilla laying over the fruit. This will stand up to hearty fare like chicken wings with blue cheese sauce and ore.
Wines reviewed in this post were provided by the Zinfandel Advocates & Producers PR rep for consideration. All options are my own.