Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Zinfandel’

The Week in Zinfandel (1/8/18)

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.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

Zinfandel of the Month – 2015 Ridge Zinfandel Pagani Ranch

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 January Zinfandel of the Month is the 2015 Ridge Zinfandel Pagani Ranch.

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. Paul Draper recently retired and John Olney is making the wines at Lytton Springs. 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.

Pagani Ranch is just off Highway 12 in the Glen Ellen area of Sonoma County. Angela and Felice Pagani came to Sonoma County from Italy, purchased the property and planted the vineyard in the early 1900’s. In addition to Ridge the fruit goes to Bedrock, Seghesio, Biale and Carlisle.

Violet in color. 15% ABV. 83% Zinfandel, 10% Alicante Bouschet and 7% Petite Sirah. Great big nose of ripe red fruits, rose petals and maraschino cherries. Immensely concentrated and lush. Cherry jam, raspberry liqueur, white pepper and baking spices on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long. Delicious but so very young. Give this Zinfadel some time in the cellar and then drink over the next 6-8 years.

My rating:  93 points.

This wine was recently released and can be found for $34-$40.

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

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

The Week in Zinfandel (1/1/18)

Welcome to the first installment of The Week in Zinfandel for 2018.  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.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

The Week in Zinfandel (12/25/17)

Welcome to the latest installment of The Week in Zinfandel. It was a quiet week for Zinfandel. Hopefully more content will surface in 2018! 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.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard – 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. Many of these vineyards are heritage sites planted by Italian immigrants and date back to the late 1800s . They have also added their first whites, two blends from historic, old-vine vineyards plus Sonoma County’s first ever Grüner Veltliner.

Bedrock Vineyard, formerly known as Madrone Ranch, was first planted in 1854. Senator George Hearst purchased the property in 1888 and planted most of the vines that exist to this day. Located in the Sonoma Valley the vineyard is a fruit source for Ravenswood, Carlisle and Bedrock.

Maroon in color. 15.8% ABV. Gorgeous nose of bright red fruits, peach cobbler and flowers. Medium body with juicy acidity. Fresh, restrained and remarkably well balanced. Raspberry, salmonberry, pepper and a hint of cream on the palate. Medium length on the finish. Lighter in style than I am accustomed to from Carlisle but delicious nonetheless. Drink over the next 1-2 years.

My rating: 93 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 and The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

The Week in Zinfandel (12/18/17)

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!

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

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

2012 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.

Crimson in color. 14.7% ABV. Scrumptious nose of red and black fruits, pepper, plums and earth. Medium to full bodied with juicy acidity. Nicely balanced. Black raspberries, blackberries and white pepper on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. Super Zinfandel from one of the top producers in the Dry Creek Valley. Drink over the next 3-5 years.

My rating: 92 points.

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. The 2016 Zinfandel will be released this coming Spring and costs around $45.

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

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

The Week in Zinfandel (12/11/17)

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!

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

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

2014 Turley Zinfandel Juvenile – Bottle Notes

Turley Wine Cellars was founded in 1993 by Larry Turley and specializes in small lots of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah from some of California’s most historic and treasured vineyards. Turley now makes right around 28 separate wines from 35 different vineyards, some with vines that date back to the late 1800’s. Tegan Passalacqua is the Director of Winemaking at Turley and has been instrumental in revitalizing the brand.

The vines that make up Juvenile range in age from about 6-25 years, and pull from vineyards across California, including Hayne, Ueberroth, Pesenti, Salvador, Vineyard 101, Fredericks and Kirschenmann

Purple in color. 15.5% ABV. Sensational nose of red and blue fruits, brown sugar and raspberry liqueur. Lush, sweet and exceptionally well balanced. Full bodied with medium acidity. Raspberry compote, boysenberry and crushed black pepper on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long. Zinfandel just does not get much better at the $20 price point. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 92 points.

With all due respect to Carlisle and Bedrock, Turley is arguably the best Zinfandel producer in California. Exceptional vineyards sources throughout the state of California and no detail spared in the winemaking process. The wines are simply better than ever.

Turley wines are available via the mailing list and periodically at retail. Turley has tasting rooms in both Amador and Paso Robles. If you are not on the mailing list, this is an easy way to secure bottles. Both are not to be missed if you are in the area.

Turley was a big winner in The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

The Week in Zinfandel (12/4/17)

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!

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

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email