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2013 Zins: The Good, the Great and the Yummy

Fans of California’s classic red are in for good times
Photo by: David Yellen

Posted: Jun 8, 2016 9:30am ET

You can't get too much of a good thing these days if you love California Zinfandel. The 2013 vintage is an excellent one for this zesty red, and since it was also a bountiful crop, that's all the more good news for consumers.

In my annual tasting report, "Zinfandel Riches," in the June 30 issue, I focus on the 2013s and look back at the equally good 2012s and gaze forward to the potentially impressive 2014s just now arriving.

During the past year, I have blind-tasted more than 350 California Zinfandels in our Napa office, with a hefty one-third of them earning outstanding scores of 90 points or higher on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale. Sonoma County inched out Napa for the best 2013 Zins, with a vintage rating of 92 points compared to Napa's solid 91-point score

The growing season was nearly ideal in 2013. It was sunny and fairly warm, but with very few heat spikes that send ripeness soaring. In general, the 2013s are concentrated and somewhat briary, with balanced acidity and tannin structure.

Check out my report for all the details, but here's a half-case of top-value Zinfandels. WineSpectactor.com subscribers can get more detailed reviews by clicking on the links, and everyone should download our free Xvalues app, which delivers reviews of great value wines.

Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin Zinfandel 2013 (88 points, $20)
A fun quaff with lively dried cherry and licorice flavors.

Dry Creek Zinfandel Sonoma County Heritage Vines 2014 (90, $22)
Packs in a lot of personality with black raspberry and toasty herb notes.

Easton Zinfandel Amador County 2014 (88, $20)
Sleekly built with raspberry and loam aromas.

Murphy-Goode Zinfandel Sonoma County Liar's Dice 2013 (90, $21)
A crowd-pleaser that's ripe and plush.

Ravenswood Zinfandel Napa Valley Old Vine 2013 (88, $18)
Dark and zesty, with black cherry and dusty pepper notes.

Turley Zinfandel California Juvenile 2014 (92, $20)
A pleasure to drink with smoky cracked pepper and black cherry aromas.

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