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Artezin Zinfandel 2016
As soon as you pour yourself a glass of this rich Zinfandel you’ll notice the striking intense garnet hue and enticing aromas of blackberries, raspberries, cassis, and black pepper. The first sip reveals ripe red fruit flavours and hints of dried herbs and sweet spices which complement the fine tannins and well-rounded, smooth mouthfeel. This full-bodied Californian Zinfandel makes an ideal partner for rich pasta dishes like Rigatoni Bolognese, a prime steak, or hard Italian cheeses like Pecorino.
Artezin first burst onto the Californian wine scene in 2002 with the ambition of preserving the state’s tradition of making deliciously bold red wines from old Zinfandel vines. Today the winery works with family-owned grape growers in Mendocino and Sonoma counties who have been working with this noble grape ever since their Italian ancestors arrived on these shores generations ago.
Working with these small, family-run enterprises gives Artezin access to top quality fruit grown according to expertise and traditions that have been handed down for decades. Each plays a crucial part in creating Artezin’s delicious wines which are truly an expression of California’s blessed climate and remarkable winemaking heritage.
Cycles Gladiator Zinfandel 2016
This lush and juicy wine is California Zin at its finest: deeply colored, with aromas of black cherry preserves, cedar, and baking spices, followed by a rich palate that tastes of blackberry jam and dark chocolate, with a smoky undertone. Velvety tannins and a prolonged bead of acidity lend this wine character and a longer-than-expected finish.
Zinfandel is the ultimate barbecue pairing wine: fruity, rich, and velvety, this wine begs for smoked ribs, grilled steak, pulled pork sandwiches, or even a juicy portabello mushroom burger.
The Cycles Gladiator Zinfandel is 88% Zinfandel, and 12% Petite Syrah; this common blend derives its fruity, jam-like nature from the Zinfandel, and the structural backbone and smoky flavors from the Petite Syrah. The Lodi region in Central California, where this wine hails from, is the perfect climate for Zinfandel and Petite Syrah: hot and dry, with cooling night winds preserving acidity. Being a full bodied and round wine, Zinfandel needs time in barrel to tame its wealth of tannins, and the winemaker for Cycles Gladiator ages this Zinfandel for 17 months in one year old and neutral American Oak barrels. Not only does this help to smooth out the wine’s tannins, but it also adds a hint of smokiness and baking spices – classic elements of a traditional California Zinfandel.
Caymus Zinfandel 2016
Wagner Wines produce a small amount of Zinfandel despite being better known for their Cabernet Sauvignon and what they do with it is now legendary! It is highly saught after due to its quality and limited production. Zinfandel is a quintessentially Californian wine though it is better known as Primitivo in Europe.
Made from grapes that benefit from the cooling effects of the Pacific and the warm sunshine give the perfect conditions for super ripe grapes with a high sugar content. The wine can be fermented into levels of alcohol in excess of 15%, which is approaching the upper limit of where fermentation occurs naturally.
On the eye, the colour is a rich ruby.
The nose entices you in with ripe black fruit, cherries, spice and a hint of chocolate.
On the palate, the flavours are in line with the nose. Dark fruit such as blackberry and blackcurrant are very prominent but a pleasant hint of chocolate and spice blend beautifully. It is a refreshingly fruit forward wine that has high alcohol and medium tannins, providing a lovely balance in the wine.
The finish is moderately long and smooth.
This is both an easy drinker that stands on its own as well as a good dinner wine that compliments grilled steaks, spicy food and cheese.
Ghost Pines Zinfandel 2015
Named after the mighty grey pines that dominate the landscapes of Northern California, Ghost Pines winery is inspired by this very special winemaking region and seeks to create wines that are authentic and express the unique qualities of this land. For this Zinfandel the winery carefully selects quality fruit from Sonoma and San Joaquin counties which are known for producing top quality Zin.
As soon as you pour out a glass of this bold Californian gem you’ll notice the deep inky red hue and enticing aromas of blackberries, cassis, blueberries and hints of toast and smoke. The first sip reveals a remarkably smooth texture and jammy dark berry and sweet spice flavours that linger long on the palate. The winery ages this Zinfandel in oak barrels for six months after the fermentation process is complete to add extra complexity and to fully integrate the different components from Sonoma and San Joaquin.
This full-throttle red is an ideal partner for smoky barbecued meats, hearty pasta dishes like Rigatoni Bolognese or even juicy marinated ribs. Thanks to the fruit-forward character of this delicious Zinfandel, it is also a great match for all types of charcuterie, roast pork, or a slow-cooked leg of lamb.
Boneshaker Zinfandel 2016
Deep ruby in colour, this concentrated Zinfandel certainly lives up to its name! The nose gives out ripe, jammy fruit with hints of cedar, spice and oaky vanilla. The palate explodes with intense fruit, chocolate, blackcurrant, plums and dried fruit. The wine is full bodied but has a velvety mouth feel, firm tannins and high alcohol – a great balance that is enhanced by the oak aging. It is a complex wine with multiple layers along with a long and lingering finish.
Fabulous on its own but matches extremely well with BBQ meat, chilli, beef roast, game and strong cheese.
The Hahn Family Winery has a culture of minimal interference as they believe that “wine is made in the vineyard”. This means that all activities within the vineyards and the winery are done with as little interference as possible. The philosophy is to combine cutting edge technology with traditional wine making to allow the very best results.
The grapes are harvested at peak ripeness before being sorted and de-stemmed prior to gentle pressing and cold soaking. The grapes are macerated for extended periods to extract the colours, flavours and aromas that make such great wines.
French oak is used to add complexity and layers to the wine along with depth and elegance.
Dry Creek Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
Dry Creek Vineyard in Sonoma County have specialised in Zinfandel since the early days of the estate. Founded by David S. Stare in 1972, the winery was one of the first to consistently use the term “Old Vine” on its bottles. The grapes used for this bottling are carefully sourced from the estate’s historic vineyards which contain vines of 50 to 100 years old. Since these vines are very old, production is limited and the grapes produced are very intense and concentrated.
The hot, dry climate in the Dry Creek Valley AVA is perfectly suited to cultivating Zinfandel vines. Following the harvest the grapes are vinified in stainless steel tanks and small quantities of Petite Sirah are added to give additional colour and depth to the finished wine. The wine is matured in a combination of American, French and Hungarian oak barrels for 16 months to round out and soften the tannins to produce a balanced, harmonious wine.
The result is a remarkably spicy and intense Zinfandel which bursts with blackberry, dark cherry, and smoky tobacco aromas. The palate reveals a big bold structure, full body, and concentrated dark berry, black pepper, and sweet spice aromas. The smooth tannins and long finish make this an excellent partner for hearty red meat dishes like a prime steak, beef stew, or even venison.