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Zinfandel Wine Tasting Notes

2004 Sobon Estate
Cougar Hill Amador County Zinfandel
Score: 89.0
This blend of 84% Zinfandel and 16% Petite Syrah displays a very attractive nose of spicy raspberry. Add a touch of chocolate and the slight bitterness of cranberries on the palate. The finish is predictably warm -- the label states 15.9%. Only 400 cases produced.
2003 Dry Creek Vineyard
Beeson Ranch Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Score: 92.0
The most assured Zin form Dry Creek Vineyards in years. Deep ripe raspberry, vibrant acid, loads of spice (vanilla and nutmeg). Nees 4 to 7 years for the tannins to resolve.
2003 Dry Creek Vineyard
Somers Ranch Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Score: 88.0
A polished, well balanced wine with unique flavors. Its varietal definition is a little wanting, but it does serve up ripe black fruit flavors on the palate, reminiscent of tart cherries and blackberries. The tannins are soft, the texture almost silky. Only 564 cases produced.
2003 Shenandoah Vineyards
Shenandoah Valley of California Primitivo [Zinfandel] ReZerve
Score: 87.0
The first thing to note is that this wine is labeled Primitivo, which is what Zinfandel is called in Southern Italy, and is considered by some experts a separate clone of Zinfandel. The second thing to note is that this is a Late Harvest wine with more in common with Port than with table wine. It's not fortified (though it has 15.8% alcohol), but in every other respect it is Port-like. So let's judge it in its category. As such, it is a superb example of a Late Harvest wine -- a huge fruit bomb, full-bodied, spicy, intense and direct. It sports dense blackberry fruit with a hint of licorice and nutmeg, soft chewy tannins, and a warm finish. Only 340 cases produced.
2003 Dry Creek Vineyard Vine Age 80 Years
Sonoma County Zinfandel OLD VINE
Score: 84.0
More Cab-like than Zin-like, the aromas suggest blackberry, plum and cloves. Jammy on the palate, it has substantial though soft tannins, with more velvet than a Pinot Noir. Actually, it's a bit too soft for my taste (it could use more acid), but it will appeal to most wine drinkers.
1998 Rodney Strong
Knotty Vines Northern Sonoma Zinfandel Estate Bottled
Score: 87.0
"Deep, ripe and concentrated, this is an intense yet balanced wine with blackberry fruit, soft tannins, and perky spices in the finish. Easy drinking now, it will continue to develop over the next decade or more. "
1998 Lake Sonoma Winery
Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Score: 87.0
"Made in the style of the old field blends, this Zin incorporates a little Cinsault, Cabernet and Merlot. Its a medium-bodied wine with a nose of raspberries and black pepper, adding a whisper of leather and red bell pepper on the supple palate. Elegant rather than brawny, it would pair well with anything from veal to filet mignon."
1998 Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vines
Sonoma County Zinfandel
Score: 89.0
"Old vine Zin is one of the wonders of the owrld. This one is a little more tame than previous versions from this producer - plum and spice, firm well-integrated tannin, a hint of leather on the mid-palate; and dark, bittersweet chocolate through the finish."

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