34th Annual Best of The Best:
QRW Tasting Team
The Zinfandel grape has its origins in Croatia and was brought to California in the 19th century. But over time, this immigrant vine has morphed into something almost indigenous, producing a zesty red wine that is purely Californian in character. If you’re looking for exuberant wild berry flavors and well-tempered tannins, then Zinfandel is your meat. Here, from 2012 and 2013, are five California “Zins” that are sure to please.
FIVE STAR CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS
Wines of extraordinary character and quality—in a class by themselves
2014 J. Lohr Gesture Zinfandel (Paso Robles), $25. 86% Zinfandel, 4% Grenache Noire, 4% Alicante Bouschet, 3% Syrah and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lush, elegant, palate-coating, wild-red-berry flavors. Delicious!
2013 Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel (Lodi), $22. Mostly Zinfandel with a small amount of Merlot. Big, deep, rich, powerful, black fruit and coffee flavors. BEST OF SHOW
2013 Silk Oak Zinfandel Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi), $16. Mostly Zinfandel with a small amount of Merlot. Rich, plump, spicy, elegantly knit, blackberry and vanilla flavors BEST VALUE
FOUR STAR CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS
Wines of outstanding character and quality—benchmarks of their types.
2012 Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley), $30. 77% Zinfandel and 23% Petite Sirah. Rich, sturdy, well-knit, wild-red-berry and mocha flavors.
2013 St.Francis Reserve Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley), $40. 86% Zinfandel and 14% Petite Sirah. Bold, voluptuous, well-concentrated, black fruit and coffee flavors.
Related articles: Summer 2016 Best of the Best Wines:
Related articles: 33rd Annual Best of the Best Wines:
• 33rd Annual Best of The Best: California Pinot Noir
• 33rd Annual Best of The Best: Champagne Tasting
• 33rd Annual Best of The Best: Non-Vintage Champagne
• 33rd Annual Best of The Best: California Cabernet and Red Blends
• 33rd Annual Best of The Best: California Sauvignon Blanc