Browse Tag


Veterans’ Administration

[vineyard]Easton 2006 Zinfandel (Amador County) – Perhaps an off bottle. If not, a rather dramatic stylistic left turn. The nose is quite volatile, then a breath of coconut precedes a crisp, light, tangled and gnarly palate of thin vines and biting, early-picked acidity. I like it (once that volatility blows away), but it’s certainly not what I expect from either Amador or Easton. (4/08)

The power of 3

Ridge 2005 Zinfandel “Three Valleys” (Sonoma County) – An oaky, harsh, tangled mess. There’s absolutely nothing good about this wine. (3/08)

Here today, Pagani tomorrow

Ridge 1999 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch (Sonoma County) – On the downslope, with coffee and earth dominating. There’s a remnant of the old coconut aromatics, but it’s fading. Drink up. (2/08)

If the Storrs are all closed

[label]Storrs 1998 Zinfandel Lion Oaks (Santa Clara County) – Absolutely gorgeous, with gentle, earthen maturity and richly complex fruit buoyed by bright acidity and no lack of still-intense – and ripe – red berries. In perfect balance now, but a few more years certainly won’t hurt. (2/08)

…and his boy wonder, primitivo

[label]Perry Creek 1999 Zinfandel “Zin Man” (Sierra Foothills) – Pine needles, with its regional wildness still present but caged, as age wears away at the surface and exposes the gentler interior. This has lasted well, though I’m not sure it has actually aged. (2/08)

York town

Ridge 1999 Zinfandel York Creek “Late Picked” (Napa Valley) – Off-dry prunes, the usual volatility, licorice, unsweetened chocolate, and drip coffee. The more of this style I taste, the less enamored I am; pushing it all the way to Essence level would be preferable, because without those layers of sweetness the classic late-harvest zin flaws of desiccated berry and nail polish remover are fully exposed. (2/08)

Primitivo culture

Pasquale Petrera “Fatalone” 2003 Gioia del Colle Primitivo (Apulia) – Good balance, wild black fruit, structured and big with slightly sour acidity. Thick, strong tannin, but it’s ripe. Quite good, though it’s tough and somewhat rustic in its youth. (2/07)

Pasquale Petrera “Fatalone” 2003 Gioia del Colle Primitivo “Riserva Speciale” (Apulia) – Dense and polished, with walnuts and baked hazelnuts, plus dark black fruit. Winemaking is layered over the top, including vanilla, dark chocolate, and espresso bean. Long, moderately internationalized, but still fairly good. (2/07)

Teres sheet

Pasquale Petrera “Fatalone” 2004 Gioia del Colle “Teres” Murgia Primativo (Apulia) – The misspelled grape is on the label, though I don’t know the reason. Soft and fresh, with fluffy pink strawberry fruit. All fun, very soft, but good acidity makes it light and quaffable. (2/07)

Read-only zin

Rombauer 2005 Zinfandel (California) – Grapey and slightly confected, with spicy-hot red cherries dominating. This doesn’t seem quite dry, either. Not my style. (5/07)


Ridge 1999 Paso Robles Zinfandel (Paso Robles) – Smoky cedar, thick and slightly hot, with concentrated blackberry cider forming a long, concentrated finish. Somewhat Scotchy, but then that’s not unusual for this bottling, which is a pretty fair effort for one of my least favorite Ridge zins. (1/08)