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james laube's wine flights

Dark Horse Zin in the Winner's Circle

Photo by: Greg Gorman

Posted: Jan 9, 2008 7:42pm ET

I like the vibe from Dark Horse, a new Dry Creek winery. It calls itself "The wine for cowboys, not to mention cowgirls, cowhands, hell, even the cows themselves. Pigs and chickens too."

Michael Loykasek is the winemaker, a veteran from this northern Sonoma appellation, who worked at Meeker and Armida before starting his own label, and he consults for De La Montoya and Hauck Cellars.

The Dark Horse Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Treborce Vineyard 2005 ($28, 650 cases) is a real discovery, which Tim Fish and I came across in yesterday's blnd tasting of new releases. This dark-hued wine is a mix of rich, rustic Sonoma Zinfandel flavors, with huckleberry, cracked pepper, sage and underbrush notes.

Loykasek also produces a Russian River Zin and Dry Creek Cabernet, which I haven’t tasted, but given the quality of the Treborce Zin, I’m chomping at the bit.

Hugh L Sutherland Jr-m
miramar beach, fl —  January 10, 2008 10:09am ET
This is a limited edition and will not be available to the average drinker. Would you comment on the other zins in your blind tasting.
Scott Oneil
UT —  January 10, 2008 10:20am ET
Thanks for the heads-up. I haven't heard of this wine or the winemaker. With a weak U.S. dollar and prices of wine escalating, it's great to learn of a new wine in the sub-$30 range. There don't seem to be as many stand-out Zins in recent vintages (with a few notable exceptions, of course), so I'm partcularly grateful to hear about this. Again, thanks!
Robert Littell
Healdsburg, CA —  January 12, 2008 1:00pm ET
Note back to Scott in UT The Winemaker, Mike Loykasek, has been making great wines for about twenty-five years. He won the Winemaker of the Year ...Sweepstakes Award at the 2007 Sonoma County Harvest Fair for his De La Montanya 2005 Pinot Noir. We are proud to grow our Treborce Vineyard grapes for him. Wait 'til you taste this wine. Hope you love it as much as we do! You can purchase the fantastic 2005 Treborce Zinfandel from the Winery. Website is: darkhorsewine.com Regards, Bob
Joshua Masur
Redwood City, CA —  January 17, 2008 2:38pm ET
I picked up a couple of bottles of each of the zins based on your suggestion. Unfortunately, they're not nearly as good of a deal after shipping costs are factored in -- $21.30 for four bottles shipped within California is ridiculous.

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