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CHEESE PAIRING:
Camembert
Vermont Shepherd
Munster
Asiago
Dubliner
Cheddar
Dry Jack
Stilton



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My second love. Zinfandel is primarily made in California where it grows quite well. Bastard twin to the Italian grape Primitivo, it is generally a big, bright, high-alcohol wine, jam-packed with deep, ripe fruit flavors, which is why I used to love it so. Now most I've tasted lack refinement and are too alcoholic. Many wine snobs consider it too "sweet", but like all wines it has it's place. Since it's not a highly tannic grape, it's approachable when young and, if anything, loses its' lovely fruit-forwardness if aged too long. The joy of this wine is it's rambunctious fruit and spice, so don't wait more than a year or two after the vintage date to drink it. There are exceptions to this rule (wines made by Turley and Ridge), but for me, most Zins don't have the complexity to be very interesting once the fruit is gone. Great with anything smoked or barbequed.

WHAT TO EXPECT: A medium-deep, ruby, purple-tinged wine with 14%+ alcohol, ripe raspberry, blackberry or dried fruit flavors, medium-low tannins and acidity and some pepper or spice depending on the region grown. Though most are aged in oak, it's not a huge component of the flavor merely adding toast and vanilla notes. Be careful of versions over 15% alcohol. In the wrong hands they can be insipid and unbalanced. If you don't like to taste fruit in your wine, this is not the varietal for you.

BEST VERSIONS FOUND: Sonoma County CA, Paso Robles CA, Amador County CA



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spacer.gif2009 Zin 91 Old Vine Zinfandel, CaliforniaRATING: **
spacer.gif2007 Dover Canyon Old Vine Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2007 J. Dusi Dante Dusi Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2007 Trader Joe's Coastal Zinfandel, Central Coast, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2007 Zynthesis Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Croad Vineyards Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Joel Gott Zinfandel, CaliforniaRATING: *
spacer.gif2006 Layer Cake Primitivo, Puglia, ItalyRATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Minassian-Young 1000 Vines Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2006 Nadeau Family Vintners "Bouncer" Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Seghesio Vineyards Zinfandel, Sonoma, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Tobin James "Ballistic" Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Vie Winery Beatty Ranch Zinfandel, Napa Valley, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Buehler Vineyards Zinfandel, Napa Valley, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Kynsi Winery Barn Owl Vineyard Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Minassian-Young Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Peter Franus Zinfandel, Napa Valley, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel, Sonoma, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Turley Old Vines Zinfandel, Sonoma, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2004 Four Vines "Maverick" Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2004 Peachy Canyon Westside Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2004 Thacher Winery Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2003 Adelaida Cellars Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2003 Four Vines Dusi Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CARATING: **


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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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