Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel

The November Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Friday and a Bottle Note will be published early next week.

2015 was an exceptional vintage for Zinfandel in Napa, Sonoma and Amador. The Bedrock Esola and Carlisle Mancini are newer wines for each producer and have never been reviewed on Zinfandel Chronicles. Each vineyard below dates back to the early 1900’s.

The Contenders:

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Esola Vineyard – The 2015 Zinfandel Esola Vineyard comes from the heart of Amador. This is a big, briary, beefy, muscular wine with a full body, plenty of heady red and black fruits, tar, earth and pepper. It is a beauty and the fruit is where it’s at – as it is pure and rich, following through for at least 45+ seconds on the palate. Drink it over the next 5-7 years. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.

2015 Carlisle Zinfandel Mancini Ranch –  The 2015 Zinfandel Mancini Ranch is 85% Zinfandel and 15% mixed black varieties, and a whopper at 15.8% natural alcohol. The vineyard dates back to 1922, which makes it another vineyard planted during the middle of Prohibition. This is a meaty, Provençal style of wine, with loads of Mediterranean spices, peppery notes, some allspice and lots of black cherry and blackcurrant fruit. It is full-bodied, powerful, and will be bottled unfined and unfiltered, as most of these wines will. Drink it over the next 7-8 years. 90 points from the Wine Advocate.

2015 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel Geyserville – It’s hard to believe that Ridge’s iconic Zinfandel Geyserville celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2015. Today, the wine is quite deep, powerful and unyielding. Of course, the low yields of the vintage have a lot to do with that. I am not surprised winemaker Eric Baugher decided to give the 2015 a few more months in barrel, as there is a lot of stuffing here. The interplay of fruit, aromatics and acidity is compelling. Red cherry jam, pomegranate, rose petal and woodsmoke infuse the finish. The 2015 is going to need time to be at its best, but it is impressive. 94 points from Vinous.

Which 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel Should I Open?

  • Carlisle Zinfandel Mancini Ranch (45%, 13 Votes)
  • Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel Geyserville (41%, 12 Votes)
  • Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Esola Vineyard (14%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 29

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the December installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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14 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel

  1. All great choices my man….but I’ve gotta go with the Carlisle Mancini. I feel like the other two probbaly need more time and I’ve never tried Mike’s version of Mancini. Looking forward to hearing about whatever you drink!

  2. I went with Ridge. I also thought about Carlisle due to it being the most ready to drink, but it probably would be a recommended hold also.

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