June 2015 - US Zinfandel, All Italian & Spanish Varietals

This month's Wine feature is US Zinfandel, All Italian & Spanish Varietal Wines
US Zinfandel, All Italian & Spanish Varietals Reviews
210399
Shenandoah Vineyards
2012 "Special Reserve" Zinfandel
Ruby black color. Bright, herbal, attractive aromas of marinated olives and raspberry tart with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a warming, nuanced, long sour cherries, tangerine sorbet, spiced apple, and herbed nuts finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A fantastically flavorful and stylish zinfandel in the classic, hedonistic style.
96 points $11 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210696
John Robert Eppler
2012 Zinfandel
Nearly opaque black violet color. Bold, spicy, herbal aromas of peppermint bark candy and blueberry cobbler with a silky, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, nuanced, medium-long creme brulee, pomegranate sorbet, mint syrup, and vanilla toffee finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A fun, fruity exotically flavorful zin.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210386
Summit Lake
2010 Estate Zinfandel
Ruby black color. Lively, fruity aromas of huckleberry jam, candied violets, and bourbon barrel with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a warming, long toffee, mocha creme brulee, cedar, and minerals finish with silky chewy tannins and light oak. A superbly rich and flavor-packed old school zin with lots of stuffing.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210341
Gamba
2012 Starr Road Old Vine Zinfandel
Deep purple color. Nutty, toasty fruity aromas of berry custard pie, toffee, and spiced jerky with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a seamless, appealing, medium-long raspberries, honeyed nuts, and chocolate mint finish with silky tannins and light oak. A delicious, beautifully structured zinfandel.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210432
Small Hours
2013 Zinfandel
Ruby black color. Delicate, toasty, creamy aromas of dark roasted nuts and berry pie crust with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long minerals, dried sour cherries, delicate peppery spices, and beets finish with well integrated tannins and moderate oak. A delicious and poised claret styled zin.
93 points $16.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210371
Sobon Estate
2012 ReZerve Primitivo
Violet color. Bright, fruity aromas of raisin compote, fig cookie, and dried raspberries with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long chocolate tangerine peels, spiced apples and cherries, delicate pepper, and mint finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A vibrant, zesty zinfandel that will sing at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210325
deLorimier
2012 Two Pear Vineyard Zinfandel
Indigo color. Delicate aromas of nut brittle and dark cherry pie with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length honeyed roasted root vegetables, mocha, and spice finish with moderate oak. A seamless and flavor-packed zin that is sure to please.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210340
Gamba
2012 Estate Old Vine Zinfandel
Deep purple color. Delicate, fruity aromas of berry pie a la mode, pickling spices, and bouillon with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, appealing, medium-length black raspberries, praline, spices, and cedar finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A delicious and vibrant zin.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210372
Sobon Estate
2013 Sangiovese
Deep purple color. Delicate, spicy, fruity aromas of boysenberry pie, meringue, and delicate baking spices with a silky, lively, fruity medium body and a warming, amusing, medium-length black raspberry jam, sweet cream, nutskin, and cedar finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A big, chewy age-worthy sangiovese that will be great with meat and pasta dishes.
92 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210700
Pedroncelli
2013 Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel
Opaque black violet color. Rich, attractive aromas of rum balls and berry pie a la mode with a satiny, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-long spicy praline, cherries, nut fudge, and earth finish with crunchy dusty tannins and moderate oak. A nice combination of power and class.
92 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210559
Don Ernesto
2013 Tempranillo
Bright medium brilliant garnet color. Fruity, toasty aromas of baked black cherries, tobacco leaf, wood smoke, and anise with a supple, soft, full body and a polished, very long finish with fruit well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. Ultra smooth, seamless red.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210323
deLorimier
2012 Zinfandel
Garnet black color. Toasty aromas of coconut macaroon, berry pie a la mode, and toffee with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, delightful, medium-length meringue, roasted nuts, and pepper finish with fine chewy tannins and light oak. A spot on zin with great varietal character and a dry, lively finish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210455
Barefoot
NV Zinfandel
Nearly opaque black violet color. Delicate, toasty aromas of roasted nuts and dark berry pie with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length spiced cherries and apples, creme brulee, and minerals finish with well integrated chewy tannins and light oak. A very nice, zesty, chewy zin.
91 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210516
South Coast
2012 Wild Horse Peak Zinfandel
Clear medium ruby black color. Lively, attractive aromas of cashew nougat and spicy cherry pie with a even, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length toasted meringue, tart raspberries, mocha cream, and minerals finish with well integrated crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A pure, nicely balanced zinfandel with zesty table friendly acidity.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210517
South Coast
2013 Wild Horse Peak Zinfandel
Ruby black color. Lively, interesting, fruity aromas of raspberry jam, orange blossoms, and hint of anchovy with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, medium-long plum, creme brulee, and pepper finish with silky tannins and light oak. A nice fruity zin with lots of backbone.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210326
deLorimier
2012 Odd Brothers Vineyard Zinfandel
Ruby color. Toasty, interesting fruity aromas of mocha, chocolate berry torte, and spiced whipped cream with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and an effortless, intriguing, medium-long nutskin finish with silky tannins. A rich, juicy zin with a nice chewy finish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210327
deLorimier
2012 Harris Kratka Vineyard Zinfandel
Garnet black color. Delicate, buttery aromas of nut brittle, apple-berry pie, and cocoa with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, captivating, medium-length sweet cream and peppered beets finish with light oak. A nice easy-drinking and well balanced zin.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210369
Sobon Estate
2012 Cougar Hill Zinfandel
Garnet black color. Lively, buttery, nutty aromas of dried berries, praline, polished wood, and marinated meat with a supple, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-length chocolate craisins, blood orange, and cedar finish with crunchy earthy tannins and moderate oak. A richly structured zinfandel that will excel at the table.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210374
Sobon Estate
2012 Carignane
Garnet black color. Lively, fruity, floral aromas of apricot marmalade, pomegranate sorbet, and lilacs with a silky, tangy, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length spiced dried berries and praline finish with medium chewy tannins and light oak. A very lively and refreshing red that will shine with food.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210390
Chatom
2012 Estate Grown Sangiovese
Brown brick red color. Aromas of dried cherries, vanilla candle, roasted chestnuts, and dried meat with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, engaging, medium-length roasted beets and bouillon finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rock solid, savory sangiovese.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210367
Sobon Estate
2013 Fiddletown Zinfandel
Bright brilliant dark dusty garnet color. Lively, fruity, earthy peppery aromas of black raspberries, bitumen - tar, white pepper, and star anise with a supple, bright, dry full body and a peppery, long finish with fruit well-integrated firm tannins and moderate oak. Robust fun big red.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210554
August Ridge
2010 "Estate" Nebbiolo
Brick red color. Bright, earthy, herbal aromas of cranberry, mint, apple butter, and tar with a supple, tart, medium body and an captivating, medium-long pomegranate, nutshell, and earth finish with firm dusty tannins and moderate oak. A vibrant nebbiolo with lots of varietal character and ageability.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210328
deLorimier
2012 Stone Ranch Zinfandel
Black violet color. Bright, interesting aromas of honeydew melon, pistachio nougat, and black raspberry tart with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a tingling, stimulating, relaxed spiced apple, boysenberry, nuts, and cedar finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A fun, zesty zin with some unique flavors going on.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210342
Etrusca
2012 Velia Sonoma County Zinfandel
Bright medium brick red color. Bright aromas of mulberries, crushed stones, wild strawberries fraise du bois and black pepper, and silly putty - nice clay like note with a lively, dry medium-full body and a warming, medium-long finish with fruit fine firm tannins and light oak. A very complex hedonic red with a warm expansive finish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210668
Paradise Ridge
2012 "Hoenselaars Vineyard" Zinfandel
Bright brilliant dark garnet black color. Fruity, peppery aromas of black raspberries, bramble, black pepper, and potters clay with a tannic, puckering, dry-yet-fruity full body and a peppery, medium-long finish with fruit tannins and moderate oak. A big wine that needs to matched with big flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210461
Château Élan
2013 "Reserve" Tempranillo
Black garnet color. Bright, attractive aromas of mocha latte, toasted coconut, and blueberry pie with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an engaging, medium-length marinated beets, cornichon, and spiced nuts finish with coating woody tannins and moderate oak. Nicely styled like a crianza with judicious American oak.
90 points $49.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210649
Ledson
2011 "Amy's Vineyard Reserve" Zinfandel
Bright medium brilliant brown brick color. Aromas of ripe black raspberries, wood putty, black pepper, and butter cream with a creamy, tangy, full body and a peppery, medium-long finish with fruit well-integrated firm tannins and moderate oak. Complex integrated flavors bode well for this wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210366
Sobon Estate
2013 Old Vines Zinfandel
Ruby black color. Delicate aromas of toffee and flaky berry tart with a supple, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length spiced cherries, nuts, and pepper finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A bright, fruity zinfandel with nice structure and warmth.
89 points $13 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210518
South Coast
2011 Touriga Nacional-Tempranillo
Bright medium brilliant brick red color. Fruity, toasty aromas of baked cherries, blond tobacco, molten plastic, and crushed stone with a tangy, dry medium-to-full body and a peppery, medium-long finish with fruit well-integrated firm tannins and moderate oak. Pleasant red made in an old world style.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210401
Sobon Estate
2013 "Paul's Vineyard" Reserve Zinfandel
Black ruby color. Delicate, toasty, nutty aromas of pistachio nut brittle, berry-orange gelato, and clay with a vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, breezy berry custard pie and chestnuts finish with medium tannins and light oak. A juicy, creamy zin.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210329
deLorimier
2012 Keeper Vineyard Sangiovese
Deep purple color. Bright, toasty, meaty aromas of dried berries, chocolate nuts, and jerky with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a tingling, appealing, medium-length nuts and earth finish with crunchy earthy tannins. A rock solid sangiovese with nice chewy tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210324
deLorimier
2012 Rege Vineyard Zinfandel
Garnet black color. Bright, fruity aromas of toffee, dried cherries, and mocha with a silky, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, breezy finish with fine tannins and light oak. A juicy, carefree zin.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210793
Lewis Station
NV Sangiovese
Deep purple color. Lively, fruity, creamy aromas of huckleberry jam, creme brulee, nut brittle, honey baked ha, and with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a smooth, delightful, breezy bing cherry finish with silky tannins and light oak. A smooth, fruity, easy-drinking sangiovese.
88 points $15.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210701
Pedroncelli
2013 Mother Clone Zinfandel
Violet color. Delicate, interesting aromas of gherkin, craisins, and floral honey with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a easy root vegetables, earth, and vanilla nuts finish with crunchy tannins and light oak. A solid drier styled zin; give this a bit of time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210368
Sobon Estate
2012 Rocky Top Zinfandel
Violet color. Delicate, nutty aromas of spiced nuts, sandalwood, berry-tomato compote, and creme brulee with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a peppery, refreshing, menthol mint, pencil shavings, and mocha cream finish with woody tannins and moderate oak. A big, brawny zinfandel; give this some time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210510
ONEHOPE
2013 Zinfandel
Garnet black color. Aromas of mocha, caramelized bacon, and berry pie crust with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a sleek, breezy spiced berries and toffee finish with fine tannins and light oak. A solid zin with a nice core of fruit.
88 points $18.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210574
Scott Harvey
2012 Mountain Selection Amador
Bright clear medium brown brick color. Aromas of black raspberries, baked planked cedar, white pepper, and craisin with a chewy, vibrant, dry full body and a peppery, elegant, medium-length finish with fruit grippy tannins and moderate oak. Grippy big red in need of full-flavored food pairings.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210375
Shenandoah Vineyards
2012 ReZerve Tempranillo
Deep purple color. Delicate, fruity, earthy aromas of mulberries, pickling spices, chocolate coconut macaroons, and wild flowers with a supple, tangy, fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, medium-length orange sherbet, craisin, and roasted nuts finish with crunchy, dusty tannins. A solid, hearty tempranillo for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210400
Sobon Estate
2013 "Reserve Zin" Zinfandel
Violet color. Delicate, creamy, fruity aromas of berry creme brulee and butterscotch with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, charming, breezy toffee and pencil shavings finish with chewy firm tannins and moderate oak. A nice, well rounded zinfandel with table friendly tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210555
August Ridge
2010 "Estate" Sangiovese
Ruby black color. Bright, buttery, nutty aromas of roasted chestnuts, dill pickle, craisins, and pencil shavings with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, captivating, medium-length marinated beets, blood orange, and cedar finish with crunchy dusty tannins and moderate oak. A crisp, savory sangiovese.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
209627
Cambridge
2013 Zinfandel
Bright medium garnet color. Fruity, earthy aromas of black raspberries, wine gums - purple gummy bears, cedar, and black pepper with a chewy, lively, dry full body and a peppery, elegant, medium-length finish with fruit well-integrated firm tannins and moderate oak. A savory Zinfandel that will benefit from food.
88 points $27.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210553
Pend d’Oreille
2013 "Project Z" Washington
Bright brilliant medium brick red color. Delicate, fruity, nutty aromas of mulberries, black walnut skin, roasted apples, and baked cedar planks and a titch of black pepper with a lively, dryish medium-full body and a warming, distinctive, medium-long finish with well integrated firm tannins and moderate oak. Supple, well balanced flavors linger in a nice way.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210667
Paradise Ridge
2012 "The Convict", Branham Vineyard Zinfandel
Bright medium dusty ruby color. Lively, fruity, toasty aromas of black raspberries, star anise, bramble and turned earth, and white pepper with a chewy, tangy, dry full body and a peppery, layered, relaxed finish with grippy fruit woody tannins and moderate oak. A full-flavored red that would work with a broad array of mushroom accented dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210648
Ledson
2011 "Amy's Vineyard" Zinfandel
Bright medium rubbed garnet color. Lively, fruity, earthy creamy toasty aromas of black raspberries, crushed stone, cherry sweet tarts, and brambly with a creamy, tart, dryish full body and a peppery, medium-long finish with fruit well-integrated firm tannins and moderate oak. Creamy vibrant Zinfandel will improve with bottle age.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210370
Sobon Estate
2012 Hillside Zinfandel
Garnet black color. Delicate, fruity aromas of raisins, fig cake, and toffee with a silky, crisp, light-to-medium body and a tingling, buoyant chocolate citrus and nutskins finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A pleasant, easy-drinking zinfandel.
87 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210373
Sobon Estate
2012 Barbera
Bright brilliant medium dark garnet color. Bright, fruity, smoky aromas of blackberries, black cherries, petrol/rubbery reductive notes, and wine gums purple gummy bears with a tart, dryish medium-full body and a warming, intricate, medium-length finish with fruit fine firm tannins and light oak. Juicy new world take on an old world varietal.
87 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210719
JZ Wine
2012 Selection "Lot #3" Zinfandel
Bright medium dusty ruby color. Bright, fruity, peppery aromas of black currants, black raspberries, white pepper, and bramble with a tangy, dry full body and a peppery, complex, medium-length finish with fruit grippy tannins and moderate oak. Lovely dark fruits are blanketed by firm tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210462
Château Élan
2013 "Reserve" Barbera
Bright medium burnt sienna color. Lively, fruity, toasty aromas of black currants, baked cedar planks, roasted nuts, and white pepper with a puckering, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. Savory red with subtle flavors, alcohol peeks through.
87 points $49.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210456
Barefoot
NV Prosecco
Bright light silvery straw color. Lively, fruity aromas of lemon sorbet, honeycomb, and peach with a even, soft, effervescent, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, breezy honeyed lime, mandarin orange, and minerals finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A very nice fruity prosecco with vibrant table friendly acidity.
85 points $9.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210514
South Coast
2014 Rose Tempranillo
Brilliant light ruby color. Delicate, fruity, creamy aromas of raspberry yogurt, meringue, and melon with an even, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, stimulating, relaxed sour cherry and green apple finish with crunchy fruit tannins and no oak. A soft, fruity, easy sipping rose.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210792
Lewis Station
NV Zinfandel
Bright medium brick red color. Bright, fruity aromas of raspberry taffy, butter cream, white pepper, and turned earth with a lively, fruity medium-full body and a sleek, brisk finish with fruit grippy tannins. Balanced red a bit of a one trick pony - would like a bit more complexity.
85 points $15.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210656
Zina Hyde Cunningham
2012 "Ricetti Lane" Zinfandel
Bright medium brick red color. Aromas of black berries, black raspberries, white pepper, and tree bark with a chewy, vibrant, dry full body and a peppery, interesting, breezy finish with fruit grippy tannins and moderate oak. Nice fruit flavors are coming off as compressed at this point in time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210364
Grgich Hills
2011 Zinfandel
Bright clear medium garnet black color. Bright, creamy, roasted aromas of dark berry pie crust, roasted marinated meats and tomatoes, and mocha with a lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, amusing, buoyant nutskins, currants, and oak finish with firm dusty tannins and moderate oak. A big, savory zin that will shine at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210515
South Coast
2012 Sangiovese
Garnet black color. Faint aromas of baked berries with a soft, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a brisk chocolate mint, roasted carrot, and nutshell finish with leafy tannins and light oak. A mild, chewy table wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210363
Barboursville
2012 Vineyard Reserve Nebbiolo
Bright medium ruby garnet color. Delicate, fruity aromas of dusty berries and black pepper with a puckering, dry medium-to-full body and a peppery, short finish with grippy tannins and light oak.
83 points $34.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210389
Chatom
2011 Estate Grown Zinfandel
Bright clear ruby black color. Bright, fruity, oaky aromas of dark berry yogurt and creamy nougat with a velvety, tangy, dryish medium-full body and a warming, charming, short nuts and oak finish with woody firm tannins and heavy oak. A brawny tannic zin that needs food.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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