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Posts tagged ‘Rafanelli’

The Week in Zinfandel (3/20/17)

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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2011 A. Rafanelli Zinfandel – Bottle Notes

Alberto Rafanelli, an Italian immigrant, first founded A. Rafanelli Winery in the early 1900’s. It wasn’t until the early 70’s that Alberto’s son, Americo, came out with the present day label and started selling the wine commercially. David and Patty Rafanelli now run the winery and a 4th generation Rafanelli, their daughter Shelly, is the winemaker. The winery is perhaps best known for their Zinfandel but also produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with all the fruit sourced from their vineyard in Dry Creek Valley.

Bright red in color. 14.7% ABV. Sensational nose of black fruits, white pepper, cocoa powder and iron. Full bodied with gobs of juicy acidity. Rich and plush. Blackberry liqueur, black cherries, pepper and anise on the palate. The finish is long and spicy with dusty tannins. Just a great Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. Motivates me to go long on the upcoming release of the ’15 version. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 93 points.

$42 at the winery.

I’ve previously posted on Rafanelli in What’s Your Price for Zin?

Rafanelli is very traditional in how they run the winery. If you want to join the mailing list you need to send them a letter. They do not correspond via email, but will likely answer the phone if you give them a call. The extra effort required to acquire the wine is worth it. The tasting room is open by appointment and is always worth a visit to try the new releases.

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The Week in Zinfandel (12/5/16)

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!

 If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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Top 10 Zinfandels Tasted in 2016

It is the time of the year where every wine blogger publishes their lists of Wines of the Year or Values of the Year, etc. Although I try to blog about all the wines I taste it is clear that Zinfandel is definitely my grape of choice. With that in mind here are my top 10 Zinfandels of 2016.

The link for each wine will take you to the detailed Bottle Note on Zinfandel Chronicles. All of the older wines were stored in my cellar since release.

  1. 2008 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch – 95 points
  2. 2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard – 94 points
  3. 2008 Turley Zinfandel Zampatti Vineyard – 94 points
  4. 2008 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard – 94 points
  5. 2010 A. Rafanelli Zinfandel – 94 points
  6. 2012 Brown Estate Zinfandel – 94 points
  7. 2012 Ridge Lytton Springs – 93 points
  8. 2007 Williams Selyem Zinfandel Papera Ranch – 93 points
  9. 2012 Ridge Zinfandel Pagani Ranch – 93 points
  10. 2009 Outpost Zinfandel Howell Mountain – 93 points

A few observations after compiling the list:

  • Papera Ranch very well might be my favorite vineyard for Zinfandel.
  • Brown Estate should not be overlooked in a conversation of best CA Zinfandel producers.
  • It’s not too late to track down any Ridge Zin from 2012. Ridge crushed it in this vintage!
  • Monte Rosso is consistently the best Zinfandel from Bedrock Wine Co.
  • Carlisle is the only winery with multiple wines in my Top 10 going back the last 3 years.
  • 2008 was a better year for Zinfandel than the critics claimed it was.

Last year’s list can be found here.

What was the best Zinfandel you opened this past year?

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Zinfandel of the Month – 2008 A. Rafanelli Zinfandel

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 December Zinfandel of the Month is the 2008 A. Rafanelli Zinfandel.

Alberto Rafanelli, an Italian immigrant, first founded A. Rafanelli Winery in the early 1900’s. It wasn’t until the early 70’s that Alberto’s son, Americo, came out with the present day label and started selling the wine commercially. David and Patty Rafanelli now run the winery and a 4th generation Rafanelli, their daughter Shelly, is the winemaker. The winery is perhaps best known for their Zinfandel but also produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with all the fruit sourced from their vineyard in Dry Creek Valley.

It has been almost a half year since I featured an older bottle from the cellar for my Zinfandel of the Month. Most Zinfandels are best consumed in the first few years after they are released, but a select few including Rafanelli, Ridge and Williams Selyem really blossom with 5-7 years of bottle age.

Bright crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. Savory nose of red and black fruits, pepper and wet pavement. Medium body with juicy acidity. Perfect balance. Blackberry, black cherry, boysenberry and black pepper on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. One of the few Zins I trust in my cellar to show well for up to 10 years. In a great spot right now. Drink over the next 1-2 years.

My rating: 92 points.

$42 at the winery.

I’ve previously posted on Rafanelli in What’s Your Price for Zin?

Rafanelli is very traditional in how they run the winery. If you want to join the mailing list you need to send them a letter. They do not correspond via email, but will likely answer the phone if you give them a call. The extra effort required to acquire the wine is worth it. The tasting room is open by appointment and is always worth a visit to try the new releases.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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The Week in Zinfandel (7/27/15)

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!

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2008 A. Rafanelli Zinfandel – Bottle Notes

Alberto Rafanelli, an Italian immigrant, first founded A. Rafanelli Winery in the early 1900’s. It wasn’t until the early 70’s that Alberto’s son, Americo, came out with the present day label and started selling the wine commercially. David and Patty Rafanelli now run the winery and a 4th generation Rafanelli, their daughter Shelly, is the winemaker. The winery is perhaps best known for their Zinfandel but also produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with all the fruit sourced from their vineyard in Dry Creek Valley.

I’ve previously posted on Rafanelli in What’s Your Price for Zin?

 Purple in color. 14.8% ABV. Brambly red and blue fruits, pepper and lavender on the nose. Medium body to go with medium acidity. This Zinfandel glides across the palate with flavors of blueberry, raspberry and boysenberry. White pepper and baking spice are also present. Great precision and balance. There are dusty Dry Creek tannins on an exceptionally long finish. Probably best consumed over the next two years.

My rating: 92 points.

$42 at the winery.

Rafanelli is very traditional in how they run the winery. If you want to join the mailing list you need to send them a letter. They do not correspond via email, but will likely answer the phone if you give them a call. The extra effort required to acquire the wine is worth it.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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Zinfandel of the Month – 2007 A. Rafanelli Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month is a new feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. For a little background please see the first installment published four 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 February Zinfandel of the Month is the 2007 A. Rafanelli.

Alberto Rafanelli, an Italian immigrant, first founded A. Rafanelli Winery in the early 1900’s. It wasn’t until the early 70’s that Alberto’s son, Americo, came out with the present day label and started selling the wine commercially. David and Patty Rafanelli now run the winery and a 4th generation Rafanelli, their daughter Shelly, is the winemaker. The winery is perhaps best known for their Zinfandel but also produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with all the fruit sourced from their vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. I’ve previously posted on Rafanelli in What’s Your Price for Zin?

Dark crimson in color. 14.6% ABV. Aromas of red fruits, pepper and vanilla. Spicy on the palate with medium body and acidity. Flavors of boysenberry, raspberry and plums. The wine seems to pick up some weight with a little time in the glass. Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel at its finest. Drink over the next 1-3 years.

My rating: 92 points.

Rafanelli is very traditional in how they run the winery. If you want to join the mailing list you need to send them a letter. They do not correspond via email, but will likely answer the phone if you give them a call. The extra effort required to acquire the wine is worth it.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2006 Rafanelli Zinfandel – Bottle Notes

Alberto Rafanelli, an Italian immigrant, first founded A. Rafanelli Winery in the early 1900’s. It wasn’t until the early 70’s that Alberto’s son, Americo, came out with the present day label and started selling the wine commercially. David and Patty Rafanelli now run the winery and a 4th generation Rafanelli, their daughter Shelly, is the winemaker. The winery is perhaps best known for their Zinfandel but also produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with all the fruit sourced from their vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. I’ve previously posted on Rafanelli in What’s Your Price for Zin?

Purple in color. 14.8% ABV. Bramble fruits, pepper and just a little vanilla on the nose. Raspberry, blackberry and cherry on the palate. Less jammy and more claret style Zinfandel. Nice acidity. Soft tannins. Super unique and charming Zinfandel. Would be absolutely perfect with barbecue chicken, a bacon-bleu cheese burger or a simple pepperoni pizza. Your truly needs to up his order on next years offering.

My rating: 92 points.

Rafanelli is very traditional in how they run the winery. If you want to join the mailing list you need to send them a letter. They do not correspond via email, but will likely answer the phone if you give them a call. The extra effort required to acquire the wine is worth it.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2005 Rafanelli Zinfandel – Bottle Notes

Alberto Rafanelli, an Italian immigrant, first founded A. Rafanelli Winery in the early 1900’s. It wasn’t until the early 70’s that Alberto’s son, Americo, came out with the present day label and started selling the wine commercially. David and Patty Rafanelli now run the winery and a 4th generation Rafanelli, their daughter Shelly, is the winemaker. The winery is perhaps best known for their Zinfandel but also produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with all the fruit sourced from their vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. I’ve previously posted on Rafanelli in What’s Your Price for Zin?

I’m a big fan of Zinfandel on uniquely American holidays and celebrations, so this bottle was opened during the Super Bowl.

Gorgeous, jammy aromas of ripe fruit literally explode from the glass. Garnet in color and 14.8% ABV. Red fruits, more red fruits and spice on the nose. Cloves, plums, currants, pepper, cherry, boysenberry and blackberry on the palate. This wine is all about red fruits and spice. Nothing sophisticated or complicated but simply delicious and everything you look in for in Zinfandel. Medium acidity with a healthy dose of tannins. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 93 points.

I have read notes of recent vintages having brettanomyces issues. I have not dipped into my stash of 2008-10 bottles, but it’s safe to say the ’05 I tasted tonight does not have any “brett” present.

Rafanelli is very traditional in how they run the winery. If you want to join the mailing list you need to send them a letter. They do not correspond via email, but will likely answer the phone if you give them a call. The extra effort required to acquire the wine is worth it.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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