Out of the Gate

The 2019 Zinfandels deliver ripe fruit in an elegant package and are ready to drink now

Out of the Gate
Vineyard manager Brenae Royal oversees Louis M. Martini's Monte Rosso Vineyard, which yielded one of 2019's top Zins. (Sarahbeth Maney)
From the Aug 31, 2022, issue

Following a rainy winter and spring and a scorching hot summer, the 2019 growing season in Napa and Sonoma produced elegant, balanced Zinfandels that defy the standard buzzwords and are ready to drink now. Rarely has a California Zin vintage been so fun to drink out of the gate, says Wine Spectator senior editor Tim Fish, who reviewed more than 200 red wines—many of which received outstanding scores of 90 points or highter—for this tasting report. 

The warmer 2020 vintage was more uneven and marked by wildfires, but the wines, especially those from classic producers, nonetheless promise plenty of drinking pleasure. Get Fish's analysis of the two vintages, complete with producer highlights, plus scores and tasting notes for the top wines and values and a vintage rating for 2019.

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