Zinfandels!

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Mike Kuller
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Zinfandels!

#1 Post by Mike Kuller » March 25th, 2018, 2:06 pm

[resizeableimage=800,600]https://scontent-dfw5-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5B2DEB48[/resizeableimage]

ANNUAL ZINFANDEL DINNER

Prima, a local Italian restaurant/wine shop holds a zinfandel dinner every year. The latest one was 3/8/18.

The dinner started with an Antipasto, then a Pasta with Tomato, Cured Pork Jowl, Pecorino and Hot Pepper (spicy!). The main course was 5 Pork Ribs Tuscan Style with Brussels Sprouts and Baked Polenta. All the courses were designed to bring out the best in the zins.

Unlike previous years, they poured the 6 wines in two flights which made it difficult to compare them all without more wine in the first 3 glasses, but they poured generously.

Here are the wines rated by which ones I liked the best:

6. 2016 Robert Biale R. W. Moore Vineyard, Napa - $50 - this was the most expensive wine and also the youngest. It tasted like an outlier, different than the others, lighter and without much fruit.

5. 2014 School House "Mescolanza", Spring Mountain - $40 - ok but not much fruit.

4. 2014 Limerick Lane, Russian River Valley Estate - $36 - this one was good with a lot of jammy fruit but a little acidic finish. (my wine group friend, Gary, liked this better than the Seghesio)

3. 2014 Seghesio "Cortina", Chen's Vinyard, Dry Creek Valley $40 - very good and balanced

2. 2014 Klinker Brick "Old Ghost" Old Vines, Lodi (white label) - $37 - their $15 zin is everywhere and decent for the price, but I learned they have two vineyard designated bottlings which they don't make as much of. This one was excellent, fruity and balanced with depth. ($29.99 at Total Wines or $26.99 if you buy 6 of anything)

1. 2015 Gamba "Starr Road" Russian River Valley - $45 - once again, Gamba was the best. Big, juicy and complex.

This was a pretty fancy dinner and the wines were more than I usually spend on zinfandel. Fortunately we got a 20% discount on the ones we wanted to buy. And you can find some of them at a discount locally.
Last edited by Mike Kuller on March 28th, 2018, 2:55 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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#2 Post by Mike Kuller » March 25th, 2018, 2:07 pm

[resizeableimage=800,600]https://scontent-dfw5-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5B3B30DE[/resizeableimage]

More zinfandel - 2015 zin tasting results 3/21/18.

..if it seems like we've been drinking a lot of zin lately, it's true. We had planned this tasting before we found out about the zinfandel dinner 2 weeks ago.

Six of us blind tasted 6 wines - the lowest score wins. Most of these are a little pricey but can be found at 20% to 30% off at places like Total Wines.

The bottom 2 wines had exactly the same points and scores.

5./6. 2015 Sebastiani Dry Creek $36 - 32pts - 3 lasts (my last) - lighter, kind of flat and less complex.

5./6. 2015 Ridge Pagani Ranch Sonoma $36 (93pts WS) - 32pts - 3 lasts - it was rich but had a little different flavor in its center - some thought it was a bad bottle and others thought it just needed more time.

4. 2015 Bedrock Old Vines Sonoma $25 (93pts WS) - 24pts (my wine, dacanted for an hour before and my 4th) - tasted better at first then the fruit seemed to dissipate.

3. 2015 Papapietro Perry Dry Creek $43 - 17pts - 1 first - got better as the fruit developed over time.

2. 2015 G. B. Crane Disciples $45 - 12pts - 1 first - rich and complex with good fruit

1. 2015 Gamba Starr Road Russian River Valley $45 (96pts Parker) - 9pts - 4 firsts (my 1st) - excellent from the first with lots of layered fruit

So the delicious zin we liked best from the zinfandel dinner was still the favorite here. This is one of the first times the winner scored less than 10pts. Highly recommended.

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Last edited by Mike Kuller on March 28th, 2018, 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Philip N. Jones
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#3 Post by Philip N. Jones » March 25th, 2018, 3:29 pm

As a zin geek, I enjoyed seeing these notes. Thanks!
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#4 Post by Anton D » March 25th, 2018, 3:50 pm

Really interesting when a wine rises to the top in dependable fashion in blind tasting!
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#5 Post by Eric S n y d e r » March 25th, 2018, 3:53 pm

Mike Kuller wrote: 2. 2014 Klinker Brick "Old Ghost" Old Vines, Lodi (white label) - $37 - their $15 zin is everywhere and decent for the price, but I learned they have two vineyard designated bottlings which they don't make as much of. This one was excellent, fruity and balanced with depth.
When my dad told me that he signed up for their wine club after visiting the tasting room, I raised a big snobby eyebrow. Then he opened one of these for me, and I was really impressed! Nice work dad.

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#6 Post by Bud Carey » March 25th, 2018, 4:38 pm

What... no Carlisle???
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#7 Post by Rich Brown » March 25th, 2018, 4:50 pm

Awesome tasting, thanks for the notes!

Gotta say though....im freaking shocked that the Biale was an outlier in that it was much lighter and lacking fruit. Admittedly it's been a while since I've had a Biale, but they were always exactly the opposite of that. Has the house style changed that much in the past 3 or 4 years??

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#8 Post by Tom Lee » March 25th, 2018, 6:04 pm

Rich Brown wrote:Awesome tasting, thanks for the notes!

Gotta say though....im freaking shocked that the Biale was an outlier in that it was much lighter and lacking fruit. Admittedly it's been a while since I've had a Biale, but they were always exactly the opposite of that. Has the house style changed that much in the past 3 or 4 years??
Admittedly I have not tried the 16 Moore but previous vintages were packed with fruit and anything but light. So no I don’t think the house style has changed.

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#9 Post by Rich Brown » March 25th, 2018, 7:02 pm

Tom Lee wrote:
Rich Brown wrote:Awesome tasting, thanks for the notes!

Gotta say though....im freaking shocked that the Biale was an outlier in that it was much lighter and lacking fruit. Admittedly it's been a while since I've had a Biale, but they were always exactly the opposite of that. Has the house style changed that much in the past 3 or 4 years??
Admittedly I have not tried the 16 Moore but previous vintages were packed with fruit and anything but light. So no I don’t think the house style has changed.

Tom
Thanks Tom. That's how my experiences have been as well which is why I was interested in the 16 Moore. Thanks again

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#10 Post by Mike Kuller » March 25th, 2018, 8:59 pm

Bud Carey wrote:What... no Carlisle???
Yeah, sorry but I'm not a fan. The few I've bought with high ratings the past few years haven't impressed me (after a year or two of cellaring) and I tend to balk at paying over $40 for a zin.
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#11 Post by Mike Kuller » March 25th, 2018, 9:02 pm

Anton D wrote:Really interesting when a wine rises to the top in dependable fashion in blind tasting!
But it doesn't always happen that way. Our favorite at the zinfandel dinner last year was the 2014 Ridge Lytton Springs.

When we had our blind zin tasting it scored near the bottom. Maybe the difference was the rich food at the dinner.
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#12 Post by Drew Goin » March 26th, 2018, 6:27 am

"2014 School House 'Mescolanza', Spring Mountain - $40 - ok but not much fruit."

I have been tempted to buy the School House "Mescolanza" Zinfandel blend in the past, but the price always held me back.

The overall preference for the Gamba Zins (which I was a fan of back in my "big red wines" days) might lead some to think that the less immediately-accessible wines performed poorly in the tasting due to an affinity for flair and bombast in the Zins... :|

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#13 Post by Mike Kuller » March 26th, 2018, 8:26 am

Drew Goin wrote:"2014 School House 'Mescolanza', Spring Mountain - $40 - ok but not much fruit."

I have been tempted to buy the School House "Mescolanza" Zinfandel blend in the past, but the price always held me back.

The overall preference for the Gamba Zins (which I was a fan of back in my "big red wines" days) might lead some to think that the less immediately-accessible wines performed poorly in the tasting due to an affinity for flair and bombast in the Zins... :|
I find that to be very true in the blind tastings and possibly in tastings comparing multiple wines. The big, drinkable fruity ones always stand out.

Last year at the zinfandel dinner I rated the 2014 Gamba Starr Road last because it was too rich and fruity reminding me more of a port.
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#14 Post by Larry P » March 26th, 2018, 10:32 am

Bud Carey wrote:What... no Carlisle???
I was thinking the same thing - in fact I usually go to this dinner but realized that I learn about it through the Carlisle mailing list, not Prima's.

Usually a great dinner though. Thanks for the notes.
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#15 Post by Mike Kuller » March 26th, 2018, 10:56 am

Last year there was a Carlisle. Did you go and how did you like it?
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#16 Post by Mike Kuller » March 26th, 2018, 10:58 am

Larry P wrote:
Bud Carey wrote:What... no Carlisle???
I was thinking the same thing - in fact I usually go to this dinner but realized that I learn about it through the Carlisle mailing list, not Prima's.

Usually a great dinner though. Thanks for the notes.
I recall there was a Carlisle at the dinner last year. Did you go and how did you like it?
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#17 Post by Mike Kuller » March 28th, 2018, 2:58 pm

Woo hoo! I was able to add some pictures. champagne.gif
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