Tag-Archive for ◊ 2011 ◊

05 Feb 2011 Zap 2011 — A good time with some great wines!

The 20th ZAP Grand Tasting was a good time for all that attended.  The weather threatened to get ugly but thankfully, held off and ended up being a great day in San Francisco.

The number of wineries seemed to be lower than in past years which is a good and a bad thing.  The bad thing is less zinfandel to taste; the good was that there was more room in both of the event halls which seemed to help with crowd flow at the event.   Also, the casting call for a extras in a Matt Damon movie help keep down the number of barely legal drinkers who normally come to get drink instead of taste.

I was able to taste a large number of wines this year even with being a volunteer for 3 hours.  The wines of the 2008 and 2009 vintages were actually fairly consistent with a trend toward above average zinfandels.  The cooler years seemed to help with not having too many over-ripe fruit flavors and keeping the alcohol levels down to more reasonable levels (14% and 15% instead of some of the recent vintages where alcohol were easily up in 16%+ range).  The change in the fruit flavors and lower alcohol seemed to throw a few wine makers a curve ball as quite a few of the zinfandels that I tasted expressed too much oak in the nose and palate.

The wines of note for me were the following:

Black Sears Estate Wine, Angwin, Napa Valley, 707-963-1334, Website
2008 Black Sears Estate, Howell Mountain, $42 — I enjoyed this wine the most out of what I tasted.  It was very well balanced in aroma, palate, acidity and overall intensity.  It had the classic zinfandel fruit flavors with an added fresh cracked black pepper note that is so rare in Zinfandels now.  It had a very long, pleasant finished with a greater than usual acidity for Zinfandel.  The is lovely by itself but would spectactular with a peppered flank steak.

D-Cubed Cellars, St. Helena, Napa Valley, 707-963-5212, Website
2007 Howell Mountain, Howell Mountain, $37
This wine was really good!  The winemaker told me the fruit comes from the Black Sears Vineyard, so no big surprise that I enjoy it so much!  The wine was elegant, complex and layer in both aroma and palate.  The freshly cracked black pepper aroma and flavor lured you in to enjoy the rest of a balanced and layered fresh fruit flavors starting to show secondary flavors — flavors of black tea, red fruit, black pepper and slight brambleberry.

2007 Napa Valley, Napa Valley, $27 — this was very enjoyable but not as complex or elegrant as the Howell Mountain — primarily fruit driven with noticable tannins, a dense wine.

Klinker Brick Winery, Lodi, Lodi, 209-333-1845, Website
2008 Old Vine, Lodi, $18 — this was a fantastic wine especially for the price point!  The wine shows classed old vine characteristics — mixture of brambleberry, red fruit, black fruit, black tea and hint of floral.  The wine is medium density with a balanced level of tannins for the intensity of the flavors and palate texture.

2008 Old Ghost Old Vine, Lodi $37 — This wine shows vintage variation; this year is a very good year!  The wine is similar to the $18 but with more concentration, complexity and elegance.  This wine will age well which is rare for zinfandels.

Mazzocco Winery, Geyserville, Northern Sonoma, 707-431-8159, Website
They were pouring 8 different wines — most of them single vineyard designates.  The wines were excellent and worth the effort to seek them out. 

Good wines — Worth trying:
Artezin Wines, Napa, Napa Valley, 707-255-1144, Website — 2008 Dry Creek Valley, $25; 2009 Mendocino County, $20
Calcareous Vineyard, Paso Robles, Central Coast, 805-239-0289, Website – 2008 Twisted Sisters, Paso Robles, $20
Downing Family Vineyards, Napa, Napa Valley — 888-440-2468, Website – 2007 Fly By Night, Oakville, $24
Edmeades Winery, Santa Rosa, Mendocino/Lake — 707-522-6488, Website — 2008 Mendocino County, $18 (Very good especially for the price — on the lighter side); 2007 Ciapusci Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge, $35.  All of there Zinfandels were quite good but I liked the balance and elegance of the Mendocino County blend best.
Gamba Vineyards and Winery, Fulton, Northern Sonoma, 707-542-5892, Website – 2009 Old Vine, Moratto Vineyard, Russian River Valley $43 (typical Gamba — big, dense, fruit bomb — aka not quite Port but damn close!)
Kokomo Winery, Healdsburg, Northern Sonoma, 707-433-0205, Website — 2008 Mounts Vineyard, Dry Creek Vineyards, $32; 2008 Timber Crest Vineyard, Dry Creek Vineyard, $36
Mauritson Family Winery, Healsdburg, Northern Sonoma, 707-431-0804, Website — 2009 Dry Creek Valley, Dry Creek Valley $27; 2009 Rockpile Ridge Vineyard, Rockpile, $35
Miraflores Winery, Placerville, Sirra Foothills, 530-647-8505, Website — 2007 El Dorado, $22; 2008 El Dorado, $22.  These are very good, complex wines and nicely priced.
Pezzi King Vineyards, Healdsburg, Northern Sonoma, 707-473-4310, Website — 2008 Old Vines, Dry Creek Valley, $24 — highly recommended.
Seghesio Family Vineyards, Healdsburg, Northern Sonoma, 707-433-3579, Website — 2009 Home Ranch, Alexander Valley, $36; 2008 Cortina, Dry Creek Valley $36; 2009 Sonoma, Sonoma County, $24
Sextant Wines, Paso Robles, Central Coast, 805-542-0133, Website — 2007 Holystone, Paso Roables, $27; 2008 Wheelhouse, Paso Robles, $20, 2008 Central COast, Central Coast $15
Storrs Winery & Vineyards, Santa Cruz, Bay Area, 831-458-5030, Website – 2005 Lion Oaks Vineyard, Santa Clara County $34; 2006 Rusty Ridge, Santa Clara County, $30; 2007 Central Coast $20

28 Jan 2011 2011 ZAP Festival — Grand Tasting in SF on 1/29/2011
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For anyone interested in Zinfandel, you should seriously consider attending the Grand Tasting at Fort Mason on the 29th.  It is the 20th anniversary of the event!  Trade will start tasting at 10:00 AM and general public will be able to start tasting at 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM.

There will be a lot of people there but so will there be a lot of zinfandel. 

 Here is a link to official ZAP link: http://www.zinfandel.org/default.asp?cid=1&n1=15&n2=645#20414.  Here is a list of the participating wineries:

 
Accademia dei Racemi
Acorn Winery / Alegria Vineyards
Adelaida Cellars
ADS Wines
Alderbrook Winery
Alexander Valley Vineyards
Amador Cellars
Amphora Winery
Ancient Peaks
Artezin Wines
B.R. Cohn Winery
Baldwin Wines
Ballentine Vineyards
Barefoot Cellars
Bartholomew Park Winery
Beaver Creek Vineyards
Bedrock Wine Company
Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves
Benessere
Black Sears Estate Wine
Boeger Winery
Bogle Winery
Bonneau Winery
Bota Box
Brazin Cellars
Brown Estate Vineyards
Brutocao Cellars
C.G. Di Arie Vineyard & Winery
Cakebread Cellars
Calcareous Vineyard
Calstar Cellars
Candor / Hope Family Wines
Carlisle Winery
Carol Shelton Wines
Cedarville Vineyard
Cellar No 8
Charter Oak Winery
Chateau Montelena Winery
Chatom Vineyards
Chiarello Family Vineyards
Claudia Springs Winery
Cline Cellars
Collier Falls Vineyard
Cougar’s Leap Winery
D H Gustafson Family Vineyards
Dancing Bull
Dancing Lady Wines
Dashe Cellars
D-Cubed Cellars
Deep Purple Winery
Del Carlo Winery
DeLoach Vineyards
deLorimier Winery
Dendor Patton
Dogwood Cellars
Dono dal Cielo Vineyard
Downing Family Vineyards
Dry Creek Vineyard
Easton Wines
Edmeades Winery
Fields Family Wines
Folie a Deux Winery – Trinchero Family Estates
Fontanella Family Winery
Forever Vineyards
Four Vines Winery
Frank Family Vineyards
Fritz Winery
Gamba Vineyards and Winery
GiaDomella
Giuseppe Wines & Neese Vineyards
Gnarly Head Cellars
Gnaughty Vines
Gregory Graham Wines
Grey Wolf Vineyards & Cellars
Guglielmo Winery
Gundlach Bundschu Winery
HaGafen Cellars
Haraszthy Family Cellars
Harney Lane Winery
Hartford Family Winery
Headbanger
Hearthstone Vineyards & Winery
Hendry
Hook & Ladder Winery
Hunt Cellars
Ironstone Vineyards
J Dusi Wines
J. Keverson Winery
J. Rickards Winery & Vineyards
Joel Gott Wines
John Tyler
JR Wines
Kenneth Volk Vineyards
Kenwood Vineyards/Heck Estates
Klinker Brick Winery
Kokomo Winery
Kuleto Estate Winery
LangeTwins Winery & Vineyards
Lava Cap Winery
Leonhardt Vineyards
m2 Wines
Macchia
Mantra Wines
Manzanita Creek / Salerno Healdsburg Estate Winery
Marr Cellars
Martorana Family Winery
Masked Rider Winery
Matrix Winery
Mauritson Family Winery
Mazzocco Winery
McCay Cellars
McNab Ridge Winery
Meeker Vineyard
Michael-David Winery
Mike and Molly Hendry Wine Co.
Milliaire Winery
Miraflores Winery
MoniClaire Vineyards
Mounts Family Winery
Murphy Goode – Artisans & Estates
Novy Family Wines
Oak Ridge Winery
Opolo Vineyards
OTTIMINO
Outpost Estate Wines
Paso Creek
Peachy Canyon Winery
Pech Merle Winery
Pedroncelli Winery
Peju Province Winery
Perry Creek Winery
Pezzi King Vineyards
Predator
Proulx
Puccioni Vineyards
R & B Cellars
Rancho San Miguel Winery
Rancho Zabaco Winery
Ravenswood
Ravenswood Quarry
Red Truck Wines
Renwood Winery
Ridge Lytton Springs
Ridge Vineyards
Robert Biale Vineyards
Rock Wall Wine Company
Rombauer Vineyards
Rosenblum Cellars
Rotta Winery
Rued Winery
Rusina Wines
Saddleback Cellars
Saldo
San Joaquin Wine Company
Sapphire Hill Vineyards & Winery
Sausal Winery
Sbragia Family Vineyards
Scott Harvey Wines
Sebastiani Vineyards
Seghesio Family Vineyards
Selby Winery
Sera Fina Cellars
Sextant Wines
Shannon Ridge
Simoncini Vineyards
Sledgehammer
Sobon Estate
Spenker Winery
St. Amant Winery
St. Francis Winery & Vineyard
Starlite Vineyards
Starry Night Winery
Steele Wines
Stephen & Walker Winery
Stonehedge Winery
Storrs Winery & Vineyards
Storybook Mountain Vineyards
Talty Vineyards & Winery
Terra d’Oro – Trinchero Family Estates
The Federalist
The Lucas Winery
The Other Guys
The Terraces
Three Wine Company
Tin Barn Vineyards
Tofanelli Family Vineyard
Trattore Estate Winery & Vineyard
Trentadue Winery
Tres Sabores
Trione Vineyards & Winery
Turley Wine Cellars
Twisted
V. Sattui Winery
Valdez Family Winery
Valley of the Moon Winery/Heck Estates
Van Ruiten Family Winery
Villa Toscano Winery
Vino Noceto
Virgil’s Vineyard
Wilson Winery & Vineyards
Wine Guerrilla
XYZin
Z-52
ZinAlley Winery
Zynthesis Cellars – Wheelhouse Wine Cellars