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Reviews for 2015

June 2015 - US Zinfandel, All Italian & Spanish Varietals

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

Shenandoah Vineyards 2012 "Special Reserve" Zinfandel
96 points
$11
Best Buy
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
John Robert Eppler 2012  Zinfandel
94 points
$28
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.
Summit Lake 2010 Estate Zinfandel
94 points
$30
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.
Gamba 2012 Starr Road Old Vine Zinfandel
94 points
$45
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.
Small Hours 2013  Zinfandel
93 points
$16.99
Best Buy
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
Sobon Estate 2012 ReZerve Primitivo
93 points
$24
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.
deLorimier 2012 Two Pear Vineyard Zinfandel
93 points
$36
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.
Gamba 2012 Estate Old Vine Zinfandel
93 points
$45
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.
Sobon Estate 2013  Sangiovese
92 points
$14
Best Buy
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
Pedroncelli 2013 Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel
92 points
$20
Best Buy
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
Don Ernesto 2013  Tempranillo
92 points
$27
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.
deLorimier 2012  Zinfandel
92 points
$32
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.
Barefoot NV  Zinfandel
91 points
$6.99
Best Buy
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
South Coast 2012 Wild Horse Peak Zinfandel
91 points
$23
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.
South Coast 2013 Wild Horse Peak Zinfandel
91 points
$23
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.
deLorimier 2012 Odd Brothers Vineyard Zinfandel
91 points
$36
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.
deLorimier 2012 Harris Kratka Vineyard Zinfandel
91 points
$38
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.
Sobon Estate 2012 Cougar Hill Zinfandel
90 points
$18
Best Buy
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
Sobon Estate 2012  Carignane
90 points
$18
Best Buy
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
Chatom 2012 Estate Grown Sangiovese
90 points
$20
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.
Sobon Estate 2013 Fiddletown Zinfandel
90 points
$22
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.
August Ridge 2010 "Estate" Nebbiolo
90 points
$28
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.
deLorimier 2012 Stone Ranch Zinfandel
90 points
$38
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.
Etrusca 2012 Velia Sonoma County Zinfandel
90 points
$45
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.
Paradise Ridge 2012 "Hoenselaars Vineyard" Zinfandel
90 points
$45
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.
Château Élan 2013 "Reserve" Tempranillo
90 points
$49.95
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
Ledson 2011 "Amys Vineyard Reserve" Zinfandel
90 points
$58
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.
Sobon Estate 2013 Old Vines Zinfandel
89 points
$13
Best Buy
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
South Coast 2011  Touriga Nacional-Tempranillo
89 points
$20
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.
Sobon Estate 2013 "Pauls Vineyard" Reserve Zinfandel
89 points
$24
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.
deLorimier 2012 Keeper Vineyard Sangiovese
89 points
$34
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.
deLorimier 2012 Rege Vineyard Zinfandel
89 points
$34
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.
Lewis Station NV  Sangiovese
88 points
$15.99
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
Pedroncelli 2013 Mother Clone Zinfandel
88 points
$17
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.
Sobon Estate 2012 Rocky Top Zinfandel
88 points
$17
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.
ONEHOPE 2013  Zinfandel
88 points
$18.99
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
Scott Harvey 2012 Mountain Selection Amador
88 points
$24
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.
Shenandoah Vineyards 2012 ReZerve Tempranillo
88 points
$24
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.
Sobon Estate 2013 "Reserve Zin" Zinfandel
88 points
$24
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.
August Ridge 2010 "Estate" Sangiovese
88 points
$26
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.
Cambridge 2013  Zinfandel
88 points
$27.99
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
Pend d’Oreille 2013 "Project Z" Washington
88 points
$40
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.
Paradise Ridge 2012 "The Convict", Branham Vineyard Zinfandel
88 points
$48
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.
Ledson 2011 "Amys Vineyard" Zinfandel
88 points
$52
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.
Sobon Estate 2012 Hillside Zinfandel
87 points
$12
Best Buy
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
Sobon Estate 2012  Barbera
87 points
$14
Best Buy
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
JZ Wine 2012 Selection "Lot #3" Zinfandel
87 points
$23
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.
Château Élan 2013 "Reserve" Barbera
87 points
$49.95
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
Barefoot NV  Prosecco
85 points
$9.99
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
South Coast 2014 Rose Tempranillo
85 points
$14
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.
Lewis Station NV  Zinfandel
85 points
$15.99
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
Zina Hyde Cunningham 2012 "Ricetti Lane" Zinfandel
85 points
$32
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.
Grgich Hills 2011  Zinfandel
84 points
$35
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.
South Coast 2012  Sangiovese
83 points
$16
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.
Barboursville 2012 Vineyard Reserve Nebbiolo
83 points
$34.99
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
Chatom 2011 Estate Grown Zinfandel
82 points
$20
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.
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