Forgive Me For I Have Zinned – Tuesday May 27 – By Eric

I love Zinfandel drinkers.  I had the privilege earlier in the week of spending time with a group of people that just wanted to hangout, drink some killer wine, and shoot the proverbial you-know-what.  And isn’t that what Zin’s all about?!  Zinfandel leaves pretention at the door, shoves flavour into your grill, and doesn’t give a…

Anyways, the company was great, the wines were awesome, and here’s how it went down:

  1. 2011 Casa Girelli Primitivo “La Borgata” (Puglia, Italy) – $17.  Poor little “La Borgata” Primitivo… never had a chance.  The group had nice things to say about this wine, but it struggled against wines that all were at least around twice its price.  It delivered a ton of easy-drinking, red-fruit laced value for only 17 bucks.  It just didn’t have the depth, or intensity of the wines to follow.
  2. 2010 Carol Shelton Zinfandel “Wild Thing” (Mendocino County, California) - $33.  This was probably the most sophisticated Zin of the evening.  Named after the wild yeasts used to produce this wine, it was the least up-front out of all the Zinfandels.  Fennel and smoky notes balanced out the cran-raspberry fruit character.  I loved this nuanced, medium-bodied Zin – full of character, charm, and authenticity.   It tied for 3rd place.
  3. 2011 Jelly Jar Zinfandel Nova Vineyard (Lake County, California) - $32. The other bronze medal winner.  This wine packed a huge punch for being the second least expensive wine of the night.  Zinfandel drinkers generally look for rich, smooth, red-fruit flavoured wines that offer high levels of deliciousness, and this small-production Zinfandel delivered those qualities in spades.  So, who’s got the ribs?!
  4. 2012 Prisoner Wine Company Zinfandel “Saldo” (California) - $50.  Containing small amounts of Petite Sirah and Syrah, this wine struggled to justify its price tag.  Most, if not all loved it, but the group saw too many similarities to the Jelly Jar to get too excited about it.
  5. 2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Pagani Ranch Vineyard (Sonoma Valley, California) – $55.  My favourite of the night – what a wine.  From vines planted in 1890, which small dollops of those all-so-common grape varieties Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir (?!), Petite Sirah and Carignan.  This wine seemed to bring endless layers of fruit, but always with a solid underpinning of refreshing acidity.  This was the group’s second place finisher.
  6. 2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Montafi Vineyard (Russian River Valley, California) – $60.  Another all-so-common blend of Zinfandel (89%) coupled with Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Peloursin, Aubun, Trousseau, and a few others just for fun.  The group’s champion, and what a monster.   This was massive, stain-your-teeth, knock you out Zinfandel, and the group absolutely loved it.

The Evening’s Top 3 Performer’s as voted by our guests:

  1. Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zin
  2. Carlisle Pagani Ranch Zin
  3. Jelly Jar Zin and Carol Shelton Wild Thing Zin

Truly, a great night – bring on BBQ season!


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