zinfandel

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June 30, 2012 Issue  :  Alphabetical Listing

California Zinfandel Alphabetical Listing

Posted: June 30, 2012  

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Between a Rockpile and a Zin Place

Sonoma's young AVA is a distinctive place that makes distinctive wines

Posted: June 13, 2012  By Tim Fish

How can you not like a wine region called Rockpile? The name alone brings up all sorts of images, of prehistoric-style rugged countrysides or chain gangs busting stones in the godforsaken sun. The reality of the place is not all that different from that. Rockpile is a rustic landscape and a distinctive place that makes equally distinctive red wines, particularly Zinfandel and Syrah. Some of the wineries that make wine from the region's fruit include Carol Shelton, JC Cellars, Seghesio, St. Francis and Valdez Family.

That day, people were practically crawling across the Meadowood lawn like it was the sandy Mojave in search of something cool and refreshing. And all they could find was Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Warm Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. They could have raised $100,000 on a single chilled bottle of rosé that day. I would have chipped in.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Buy These Value Zins While You Can

Few bargains as the 2010 and 2011 vintages come on the market

Posted: May 30, 2012  By Tim Fish

Zinfandel has gotten more expensive in recent years, there's no arguing that. Zin vines will crank out buckets of wishy-washy juice if you let them, but it takes effort and time and money to make great Zin.

That's particularly true with the 2010 and 2011 vintages, in which Zin makers faced every plague but locust. Good Zins from those vintages selling for less than $15 or $20 a bottle will be few and far. In my annual report, "Zinfandel Elegance" in the June 30 issue of Wine Spectator, I was so concerned about the challenges and quality of those vintages that I didn't give readers enough good advice on value.

Consider this the makeup test.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

One of Sonoma's Oldest Zin Vineyards Gets a New Lease on Life

Arista Winery's McWilliams family buys Russian River's Martinelli Road vineyard

Posted: April 9, 2012  By Tim Fish

One of California's best sweet spots for great old-vine Zinfandel is a remote little valley in western Russian River not far from Forestville. The best-known vineyard there is Jackass Hill, which was first planted in 1889 and is notably bottled by Martinelli Winery.

Just down the hill, and once part of the original Giuseppe Martinelli ranch, is the 18-acre Martinelli Road Vineyard. It's not nearly as well known as Jackass Hill, but Turley bottled it under the Rancho Burro designation for many years, and Mike Officer at Carlisle launched a single-vineyard Martinelli Road in 2009, which I rated 94 points on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale. Last week, the McWilliams family of Arista Winery purchased the vineyard for an undisclosed sum. It sounds like the vineyard is in good hands.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

The Snotty Young Punk of Zintown

Once the upstart, Turley is now one of the undisputed kings of California Zinfandel

Posted: April 4, 2012  By Tim Fish

Back in the mid 1990s, there were three kings of California Zinfandel, the Three Rs we called them: Ravenswood, Ridge and Rosenblum. The snotty young punk in Zintown was Turley. Fast-forward almost 20 years and things have sure changed. The Three Rs continue to make fine Zinfandels—Ridge most frequently—but only Turley is on top of its game.

"

That's my takeaway after tasting through the winery's most-recent releases. I've been drinking Turley since the first vintage, 1993, and, taken as a group, these are some of the best Zinfandels that Turley has made. The group included 2009s from the winery's top single vineyards as well as early-release 2010 from its value-oriented blends.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

14 California Zinfandels for $25 or Less

New reviews of great red values from across the state in a range of styles

Posted: March 19, 2012  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

12 Winning Sonoma Zinfandels

New reviews of good value Zins from recent vintages

Posted: February 27, 2012  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

2010 Zinfandels a Mixed Bag at ZAP Tasting

Notes on my favorite wines at the annual San Francisco event

Posted: February 1, 2012  By Tim Fish

Wine Spectator associate editor Tim Fish attended the Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) Festival in San Francisco this past weekend. It was an opportunity for him to get a first impression of the difficult 2010 vintage, as well as taste more wines from the outstanding 2009 vintage. Here are his notes from the festival and scores for his top 10 favorite wines.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

JC Cellars Back in the Zin Saddle Again

Winemaker Jeff Cohn returns to his roots and proves he still has the touch

Posted: January 11, 2012  By Tim Fish

Winemaker Jeff Cohn was the man behind Rosenblum’s stellar Zinfandels during that winery’s heyday, so when he launched his own winery, JC Cellars, he focused almost exclusively on Syrah and other Rhône varietals.

“I wanted some separation,” says Cohn, who launched his winery with his wife, Alexandra, in 1996 and departed Rosenblum in 2006. “But I missed Zin, and I feel like the water has cleared enough that I can do what I want to do.”

The sluggish sales of California Rhône wines played a role no doubt, but I’ve always thought Cohn had a gift for Zin, so I’m glad to see him returning to his roots. And his new releases from the 2009 vintage certainly prove the point.

News & Features  :  What We're Drinking Now

A Hearty Zin for the Holidays

Michael & David Phillips Zinfandel Lodi 7 Deadly Zins Old Vine 2008

Posted: January 5, 2012  By Kim Marcus

Learn Wine  :  Ask Dr. Vinny

Are Zinfandel grapes and wines produced only in the United States?

Posted: January 4, 2012  

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

14 California Zinfandels

New releases in a range of styles, from bold and ripe to supple and elegant

Posted: November 28, 2011  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  What We're Drinking Now

A Zesty Red That’s No Turkey for Thanksgiving

Buehler Zinfandel Napa Valley 2009

Posted: November 21, 2011  By Tim Fish

Nov. 15, 2011 Issue  :  Features

Living History

California’s old-vine Zinfandels stand the test of time—and then some

Posted: November 15, 2011  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 California Red and White Values

New reviews of an assortment of budget wines priced at $35 or less from the Golden State

Posted: October 24, 2011  By MaryAnn Worobiec

News & Features  :  What We're Drinking Now

A Bold Zinfandel with a Rich Heritage

Ridge Zinfandel Sonoma Valley Pagani Ranch 2009

Posted: September 23, 2011  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Who Says Zinfandel Doesn't Age?

Retrospective tasting of 1991 and 2001 prove the contrary

Posted: August 24, 2011  By Tim Fish

Zinfandel ages well.

There! I said it. You wanna make something of it? Huh?

Because I’m not flapping my gums just for the breeze. I have proof. Sure, folks will tell you that Zin won’t get better with age, that you should drink them fast before all that snazzy fresh fruit fades into oblivion.

BLTs for me are in the same wine-pairing pool as a hamburger with all the fixings. You can’t simply be guided by one ingredient; there’s a potpourri of flavors and textures to consider, from sweet and acidic to smoky and creamy.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

The Ups and Downs of the Sierra Foothills

Veterans of this unsung wine region are being joined by a new generation of winemakers

Posted: August 10, 2011  By Tim Fish

Whenever I write about the Sierra Foothills, I always call Bill Easton because he’ll tell you what he thinks, not what you want to hear. In these salad days of online news media, the rule seems to be “decide the story first, then fill in the blanks.” Chalk it up to my nights covering mayhem and BS at a daily newspaper, but I like being thrown a curve ball. That’s when you learn something.

Easton took umbrage—and he’s an umbrage taker from way back—when I said the Foothills were like the Finger Lakes and Long Island wine regions in New York, well-regarded by those in the know but largely undiscovered by the wine masses. He asked: Why compare? “Bordeaux may be like Napa may be like Barossa Valley may be like Stellenbosch.” Easton said. “It is what it is.”

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Going Back to the Future with Old Zin Vineyards

Getting all philosophical while walking in a 120-year-old vineyard

Posted: August 3, 2011  By Tim Fish

Note to self: Whenever you hear someone grumble that California lacks the wine pedigree of Europe, remember the day you walked through San Lorenzo vineyard with Pete Seghesio and his boys.

It was one of those mid-summer Sonoma County mornings when the fog scares off early and the heat rises at you like exhaust from the dirt. Joe and Will were chasing each other in ATVs around the outskirts of the vines as Pete showed me the oldest patch of grapes in San Lorenzo, a 7-acre parcel near the Russian River in Alexander Valley.

"The deed for the ranch goes back to 1896," said Seghesio, whose great-grandfather Frank Passalacqua paid 10 gold coins for it. The copy of the deed is framed on the wall of his house, which overlooks the vineyard, and it refers to "seven acres of young vines."

June 30, 2011 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

Revisiting 2001 and 1991 California Zinfandel

Now 10 and 20 years old, some of the wines taste surprisingly youthful

Posted: June 30, 2011  By Tim Fish

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