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Four Fab Zins


This week we decided it was time to once again step out of our comfort zone. We have never really made much fuss about Red Zinfandel. Our experience with it in the past has just never been that good. Well, all that has changed thanks to some dear friends who introduced us to the following affordable, yet fabulous Zins…in no particular order. Cheers!


OZV (“Old Zin Vine”)
Red Zinfandel
Oak Ridge Winery
Lodi, California
Vintage: 2009
Alcohol: 13.95%
Average Price: $13

Winemaker’s Notes:  A robust Zinfandel from the region’s signature 50-100 year-old vines. Jammy with raspberry, milk chocolate and mocha flavors, soft tannins and a supple mouth feel.

Our Thoughts and Pairings:  What a beautiful deep, red jewel tone. On the nose we smelled blackberries, and dark cherries. On the tongue we also got dark and ripe fruit flavors, along with traces of chocolate. Smooth, long finish. Delicious Wine. We paired it with some equally delicious, stinky gouda. This wine was a favorite amongst our friends during a recent wine tasting gathering. Great value for the price.


Red Zinfandel
Sonoma County, CA
Vintage: 2011
Alcohol: 14.8%
Average Price: $20

Winemaker’s Notes: Spicy, lush black fruit flavors of Alexander Valley. Briary and raspberry flavors are present, along with structure of the cooler Dry Creek Valley. Overall, this is a balanced and elegantly structured Zinfandel.

Our Thoughts and Pairings:  Another dark red wine. Smelled like black cherry with a touch of pepper. A bit tart at first, but after decanting it for about an hour, the balance of fruit and spice was great. Berry flavors with traces of plum and other dark fruits. Smooth with a nice long finish. Enjoyed this one all on its own. Would pair nicely with most meat dishes.


Red Zinfandel
Central Coast, CA
Vintage: 2008
Alcohol: 14.8%
Average Price: $15

Winemaker’s Notes:  “Sextant” – an old world instrument using the sun, stars and horizon to navigate across open water.

 Intense black cherry hues partner with a bouquet of vanilla, wild strawberries, sweet baked rhubarb and the complexity of subtle herbs as you’re invited in to discover more. The soul of the 2008 sextant Central Coast Zinfandel is comprised of robust berries including blueberry, raspberry, strawberry along with pomegranate flavors and a kiss of chocolate. Soft supple tannins balance the abundance of fruit and complete this silky Zinfandel with a lasting finish. Simply done yet elegant and classic.

 Our Thoughts and Pairings:  This is one time we pretty much agree with the winemaker’s notes.  This is a deep colored Zin that is definitely full of variety. Should be decanted for a while to get all the fruit flavors.  Smelled the vanilla right away.  We enjoyed it all by itself though it would pair great with meat dishes or even some pizza.


Old Vine Zinfandel
(85% Zin, 5% Petite Sirah, 5% Primitivo, 5% Sirah)
Lodi, CA
Vintage: 2011
Alcohol: 14.5%
Average Price: $12

Winemaker’s Notes:  Our 2011 Plungerhead Lodi Zinfandel is dark purple in color with a lot of old vine character aromas. The aromas are reminiscent of black cherry, blackberry compote, aged balsamic reduction, earthy mushroom, musky leather, and smoky bacon. On your palate, you will see flavors of sweet blackberries, black pepper, cherry hard candy, plum preserves, coriander, roasted French Oak, and hints of leather, cinnamon bark, and mint. On the finish, there are notes of candied toasted pecan, cherries jubilee, smoked sea salt, and dried blueberries.

Our Thoughts and Pairings:  Ok, so maybe we did save the best for last. Obviously not best in “labels”…though definitely gets major points for being creative and unique.  We just prefer the prettier ones. 😉 We also don’t think it necessarily beats out all the rest in taste, especially considering it’s not a 100% Zin. However, Plungerhead definitely takes the prize for best value for the price.  At $12 it definitely stood up to the $20+ Zin we had. We had to decant it for a while though. We then enjoyed the deep fruit flavors with traces of spice and oak. We didn’t get all the crazy aromas and flavors the winemaker suggests, but we’re not sure we would have enjoyed it as much if we did. This wine would go great with a big juicy hamburger.


Happy Wine Wednesday…Cheers!

~Vino & Vintage

One comment on “Four Fab Zins

  1. […] Four Fab Zins (vinoandvintage.wordpress.com) […]

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