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Posts tagged ‘2011 Zinfandel’

The Week in Zinfandel (6/22/15)

Welcome to the latest installment of The Week in Zinfandel. If I missed your post or story please send me a link and I will be sure to include it next week. Cheers!

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Pick My Next Bottle – 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel

The June installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Old Vine Zinfandel from the the 2011 vintage. 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 on Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published the following week.

The 2011 growing season was quite challenging for many California Winemakers. Cool weather up and down the coast slowed ripening. In many cases frost decreased yields and rain late in the harvest led to the the potential for rotten grapes.

The wineries featured below all have meticulous Winemakers who work hard in the vineyard and I am confident to say based on previous tastings that the wines from Bedrock, Carlisle and Turley will not disappoint. That being said it never hurts to check in on bottles in your cellar.

The Contenders

  • 2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Saitone Ranch –  Bedrock’s 2011 Zinfandel Saitone Ranch jumps from the glass with juicy dark cherries, violets and cloves. A rich, sumptuous wine, the Saitone Ranch boasts stunning depth and richness, but no excess weight at all. It is a striking, breathtakingly beautiful wine. Floral and mineral notes add lift on the bright, chiseled finish. This is a fabulous wine from Morgan Peterson. The Saitone is a field blend consisting of roughly 85% Zinfandel and 15% Petite Sirah, Alicante and assorted other grapes. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2021. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard – The 2011 Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard is plush, rich and inviting. All sorts of black fruits, smoke, tar and graphite flesh out in this supple, deeply expressive wine. In 2011 the Carlisle is notable for its lush, rich, totally inviting personality. At the same time, it has fabulous detail and nuance for such a big, explosive wine. The tannins remain firm, but there is more than enough density in the fruit to provide balance. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. 94 points from Wine Advocate.
  • 2011 Turley Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard – The 2011 Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard shows why this Paso Robles vineyard is so admired. A wine of uncommon grace, the Ueberroth possesses gorgeous depth and sheer purity from start to finish. The aromas and flavors are darker than in the two other Paso Zinfandels in the Turley lineup. I can’t wait to taste the 2011 again once it is in bottle. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel Should I Open

  • Turley Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard (40%, 19 Votes)
  • Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Saitone Ranch (30%, 14 Votes)
  • Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard (30%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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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 July Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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Zinfandel of the Month – 2011 Ridge Lytton Springs

Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The March Zinfandel of the Month is the 2011 Ridge Lytton Springs.

Ridge Vineyards was founded in 1959 when three Stanford Research Institute engineers bought an abandoned winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The vineyards had been planted in the late 19th century by a San Francisco physician who produced his first vintage in the original winery, called Monte Bello, in 1892. The first Ridge vintage was in 1962. Since 1969 Ridge’s winemaker, and now also its CEO, has been Paul Draper. Ridge makes Cabernet, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Rhone style wines.

When I first became interested in Zinfandel the buzz was always around the Three R’s of Zinfandel: Ravenswood, Rosenblum and Ridge. 25 years later Ridge is still at the top of its game, turning out single vineyard Zinfandel from some of California’s most precious vineyards.

Lytton Springs Vineyard dates back to the early 1900’s and is located in the Dry Creek Valley. The ’11 Lytton Springs in a blend of 81% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah and 2% Carignane.

Served without decanting. Shimmering red in color. 14.4% ABV. Brambly red fruits, flowers and minerals on the nose. Medium body with strong acidity. Raspberries, boysenberries, pepper and licorice on the palate. Supremely elegant Zinfandel. Subtle tannins show on a polished finish. Drink over the next 3-5 years.

My rating:  91 points.

Current vintages of the Ridge Lytton Springs including the 2011 and 2012 can be found at retail and will cost right around $35. This is a wine that I buy year in and year out.

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Zinfandel of the Month – 2011 Angel Vine Zinfandel Columbia Valley

Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The October Zinfandel of the Month is the 2011 Angel Vine Zinfandel Columbia Valley.

Angel Vine owners Ed and Laureen Fus moved their family to Oregon in 1997 to pursue their dream of farming a vineyard. The Three Angels Vineyard (named after Laureen and their two daughters) is located in Oregon’s Eola-Amity Hills and produces Pinot Noir used by several local wineries. Ed eventually decided to make his own wine focusing on single vineyard Zinfandel (see my previous notes on three of them ), with grapes sourced from Washington. They also produce a Zinfandel blend, Petite Sirah and Primitivo.

The Columbia Valley Zinfandel is ruby red in color and checks in at 15.1% ABV. 98% Zinfandel and 2% Petite Sirah. Zinfandel from Alder Ridge, Avery and StoneTree vineyards. The Petite Sirah is also from StoneTree Vineyard. Black  fruits, licorice, grilled meats and pepper on the nose. Rich fruit and borderline jammy. Raspberries, maraschino cherries, white pepper and touch of bittersweet chocolate on the palate. Long, lean finish. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 90 points.

This is the entry level Zinfandel from Angel Vine and it is a great value at $18. Washington Zinfandel is a work in progress and this wine is clearly a step in the right direction.

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2011 Renwood Old Vine Zinfandel – Bottle Notes

Renwood Winery was established in 1993 and is one of the most respected wine producers in the Sierra Foothills, specializing in Zinfandel.

In the early to mid nineties I lived in Sacramento and my passion for Zinfandel was based on trips to wineries like Renwood, Ravenswood and Rafanelli. At the time Scott Harvey was the winemaker and the Zinfandels from the likes of Grandmere and Grandpere Vineyards were some of my very favorites.

Renwood is now under new ownership but the mission is still the same – world class Zinfandel made from some of the finest vineyards in the Sierra Foothills.

Joe Shebl is the current Director of Winemaking and the consulting winemakers include Jeff Cohn and Kent Rosenblum. Renwood now makes upwards of a dozen different Zinfandels.

The review below is based on a sample provided by the winery.

Dark garnet in color. 14.8% ABV. Red fruits, licorice and pepper on the nose. Medium body and medium acidity. Raspberry, marionberry, white pepper and a bit of vanilla on the palate. Rich and jammy with a long spicy finish. Right around $20 at retail and the winery. Drink over the next 1-2 years.

My rating: 89 points.

The Zins from Renwood are affordable and exceptionally well made. Be on the look out.

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Zinfandel of the Month – 2011 McCay Cellars Zinfandel Faith Lot 13 Vineyard

Zinfandel of the Month is a new feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. For background please see the first installment published last October. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The June Zinfandel of the Month is the 2011 McCay Cellars Faith.

Michael McCay, owner of McCay Cellars, has a simple goal: to make wine with a sense of presence and character that expresses the trueness of the vineyard. Michael is a relative newcomer to Lodi. He has only farmed there for 35 years. He came to Lodi in the early 1980s, planted a vineyard, started making wine in 1994, and launched McCay Cellars in 2007.

Crimson in color. 14.3% ABV. Lot 13 Vineyard is in Lodi and the vines date back to 1915. Red fruits, cocoa, white pepper and flowers on the nose. Sweet and jammy on the palate. Rich and full bodied with perfect acidity. Great flavors of strawberry, raspberry and huckleberry. Totally fruit driven and absolutely delicious. Drink over the next 2-4 years. $32 at the winery.

My rating: 92 points.

McCay Cellars is located on the North side of Lodi, CA. Lodi is approximately 30 miles south of Sacramento off of CA-99 freeway. The tasting room is open Thursday thru Monday from 11am to 5pm.

I wrote about McCay Cellars previously in Three Zinfandels From McCay Cellars

This review was based on a sample provided by the winery.

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Three Zinfandels from McCay Cellars

Michael McCay, owner of McCay Cellars, has a simple goal: to make wine with a sense of presence and character that expresses the trueness of the vineyard. Michael is a relative newcomer to Lodi. He has only farmed there for 35 years. He came to Lodi in the early 1980s, planted a vineyard, started making wine in 1994, and launched McCay Cellars in 2007.

The reviews below are based on samples provided by the winery.

      • 2011 McCay Cellars Zinfandel Jupiter – Light ruby red in color. 14.8% ABV. Red fruits, licorice, pepper and flowers on the nose. Light in body and somewhat tart with crisp acidity. Raspberry compote, strawberries, currants and cranberries on the palate. Subtle but ever present tannins. Polished, with a long finish. Lots to like here. Drink over the next 2-3 years. $28 at the winery. My rating: 91 points.
      • 2011 McCay Cellars Zinfandel Equity – Deep purple in color. 14.4% ABV. Black fruits, plums and pepper on the nose. Medium body with just the right amount of acidity. Blackberries, black cherries, vanilla, figs and pepper on the palate. Should be a great food wine. Think pizza or barbecue. Ready to drink. $28 at the winery. My rating: 90 points.
      • 2011 McCay Cellars Zinfandel Trulux – Dark crimson in color. 14.6% ABV. From 80 year old vines on the west side of the Lodi AVA. Bright red fruits, vanilla and pepper on the nose. Rich, lush and supremely concentrated. Jammy on the palate with raspberries, marionberries, plums and a dark cocoa. The finish is long and decadent. $32 at the winery. My rating: 92 points.

 

McCay Cellars is located on the North side of Lodi, CA. Lodi is approximately 30 miles south of Sacramento off of CA-99 freeway. The tasting room is open Thursday thru Monday from 11am to 5pm. Yours truly hopes to visit this historic California wine region in the not to distant future.

The Lodi region holds just a ton of promise for the Zinfandel grape. I for one will be doing more research here in the year to come.

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2011 Ravenswood Zinfandel Estate – Bottle Notes

Ravenswood was founded in 1976 by Joel Peterson. The winery is a pioneer in producing single vineyard Zinfandels from some of Napa and Sonoma’s most treasured vineyards, including Dickerson, Old Hill, Cooke and Belloni. I used to regularly visited Ravenswood in the summer, when they released their single vineyard wines. Back in the day they also had a BBQ out behind the winery. Great wine, great food and great memories.

The grapes are sourced from the Estate Vineyard which is adjacent to the winery. This bottling is 100% Zinfandel.

Purple in color. 15% ABV. Black fruits, pepper, prunes and vanilla on the nose. Medium body and light acidity. Blackberry, cherry, chocolate and eucalyptus on the palate. Coarse, mouth drying tannins on a long finish. Not as complex as most of the other single vineyard Zins in the Ravenswood lineup. Most likely due to the younger age of the vineyard.

My rating: 90 points.

Probably hard to find outside of the winery where it will set you back $35.

I can’t more highly recommend the Ravenswood Single Vineyard Zinfandel lineup. The wines are as good as ever.

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Zinfandel of the Month – 2011 Ridge Geyserville

Zinfandel of the Month is a new feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. For a little background please see the first installment published six months ago. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The April Zinfandel of the Month is the 2011 Ridge Geyserville.

Ridge Vineyards was founded in 1959 when three Stanford Research Institute engineers bought an abandoned winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The vineyards had been planted in the late 19th century by a San Francisco physician who produced his first vintage in the original winery, called Monte Bello, in 1892. The first Ridge vintage was in 1962. Since 1969 Ridge’s winemaker, and now also its CEO, has been Paul Draper. Ridge makes Cabernet, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Rhone style wines.

When I first became interested in Zinfandel the buzz was always around the Three R’s of Zinfandel: Ravenswood, Rosenblum and Ridge. 20 years later Ridge is still at the top of its game, turning out single vineyard Zinfandel from some of California’s most precious vineyards.

Geyserville is a traditional field blend of Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet and Mataro. Portions of the vineyard date back 130 years.

Crimson in color. 14% ABV. The 2011 Geyserville is 78% Zinfandel, 16% Carignane, 4% Petite Sirah, 1% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mataro. Brambly red fruits, pepper, vanilla and lavender on the nose. Medium bodied with nice acidity. Blackberry, raspberry, licorice, menthol and tar on the palate. Chalky, dusty tannins. Perfectly balanced, this wine is approachable now but will no doubt age for upwards of a decade.

My rating: 93 points.

The 2011 Geyserville is still available at retail and is a super buy for $35 or less.

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2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County – Bottle Notes

Carlisle Winery & Vineyards was founded in 1998 by Mike and Kendall Officer. Their passion is clear: Small lots of Zinfandel and Syrah from exceptional, historic vineyards.

The 2011 version of the Sonoma County Zinfandel is sourced from Fanucchi Wood Road, Carlisle, Rowe, Rossi Ranch, Lingenfelder and Bedrock Vineyards.

Garnet in color. 14.9% ABV. Red fruits, vanilla and a touch of pepper on the nose. Rich and creamy. Strawberry, raspberry, white pepper and minerals on the palate. Light acidity and soft tannins. Ready to drink. As always a complete bargain for around $22 but a step down from both the ’10 and ’12 versions of this wine.

My rating: 90 points.

Current vintages of the various Carlisle wines are available via the mailing list, which is exceptionally long. Several retail outlets in California stock Carlisle, but you need to check with them at the time the winery releases their wines in the Spring and Fall.

I’ve wrote about Carlisle previously in Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5.

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