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Reviews for 2016

June 2016 - US Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals

June 2016 - US Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals
This month's Wine feature is US Zinfandel, All Italian & Spanish Varietals Wines

US Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals Reviews

Falkner 2012 "Amante" Super Tuscan Style Red Wine Temecula Valley
96 points
$49.95
Dark brick red color. Savory, earthy complex aromas and flavors of dried tomatoes, cherries and olives, roasted black walnuts and pecans drizzled with vanilla cream, clay and leather bound wood chair, and hint of beef bouillon with a satiny, bright, dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, very long finish that presents impressions of borscht, cocoa, nuts, and earth with moderate oak flavor. A superb American take on the difficult to replicate artisan Italian style that is reeling with earthy, savory fruit and oak flavors.
96 points $49.95
Spangler 2012  Zinfandel
95 points
$28
Bright medium ruby black color. Bright, fruity, spicy peppery savory aromas and flavors of chocolate, dried berries, leather, and jerky with a soft, tangy, fruity medium-full body and a warming, distinctive, medium-length finish with touches of caramelized nuts, apple, and citrus, mocha nuts, cedar, and pepper with silky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A rich, bright, spicy zin with lots of fruit, supple balance, and intriguing meatiness.
GiaDomella 2012  Zinfandel
94 points
$28
Bright dark violet color. Bright, fruity, jammy toasty peppery aromas and flavors of vanilla yogurt nuts, coconut macaroon, berry reduction, and waxy honeycomb with a soft, tangy, fruity medium-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-length finish that shows suggestions of fruit cake, spice, and chocolate mint with well-integrated, crunchy, fine tannins and moderate oak flavor. A robustly flavorful and well balanced zin with a dense jammy, core of fruit.
Lorenzi Estate 2012 Old Vine Lopez Ranch Zinfandel
93 points
$75
Brick red color. Rich, mature aromas and flavors of cocoa-dusted raisins and prunes, white clay, sweet spices, and pencil with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, delightful, medium-length finish with notes of dried cherries, sherry sautéed nuts, dolmades, and pepper with earthy, dusty, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A brawny, old-school porty zinfandel with lots of raisiny fruit and tannins to chew on.
Cardella 2013 Fattoria Cardella Laquedotto Vineyard Barbera
92 points
$17
Best Buy
Deep purple color. Bright, attractive aromas and flavors of coffee nut fudge, chocolate coconut macaroon, and blueberry pie with an tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, refreshing, medium-length finish conveying notes of sweet pickle relish, coconut-tangerine yogurt, and mixed peppercorns with light oak flavor. A wonderfully fruity, spicy and savory barbera that will have a lot of interesting pairing possibilities.
92 points $17 Best Buy
Napa Cellars 2013  Zinfandel
92 points
$24
Garnet black color. Fruity aromas and flavors of chocolate cherries, vanilla toffee, smoked nuts, and sweet spice with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium body and a graceful, delightful, medium-long finish revealing accents of creme brulee and berry pie a la mode with well-integrated, silky tannins and light oak flavor. A smooth, juicy zin that is sure to please.
Corner 103 2012 Sonoma County Zinfandel
92 points
$50
Garnet black color. Aromas of dried berries, vanilla yogurt nuts, brown spices, and cedar and clay with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long leather and sassafras finish with silky, fine tannins. A mature, polished zin with a deep core of spicy fruit.
Montevina 2013  Zinfandel
91 points
$12
Best Buy
Deep purple color. Bright, baked aromas and flavors of chocolate nuts, spiced berries, and herbed jerky with a satiny, tangy, off-dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, charming, medium-long finish displaying accents of black raspberry jam on raisin toast and praline with silky tannins and light oak flavor. A rich, juicy zinfandel with lots of concentrated fruit flavors.
91 points $12 Best Buy
Haraszthy Family Cellars 2013  Zinfandel
91 points
$23.99
Brick red color. Bright, creamy, spicy aromas of white chocolate toffee and carrot-cherry cake with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, compelling, medium-length chocolate mint cookie, candied yams, and cedar finish with chewy, dusty tannins and light oak flavor. A rich, juicy, chewy zinfandel.
91 points $23.99
Cedar Mountain 2014 Reserve Ghost Vines Zinfandel
91 points
$28
Dusty garnet black color. Lively, fruity aromas and flavors of blueberry custard tart, spiced plums and apples, and praline with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, delightful, medium-long finish evoking impressions of roasted beets, earth, pepper, and cedar with well-integrated, crunchy tannins. A rich, savory, well-balanced claret-style zinfandel.
Terra d’Oro 2014 Deaver Vineyard Zinfandel
91 points
$30
Ruby black color. Bright, meaty aromas and flavors of caramelized bacon and toasted cranberry bread with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, engaging, medium-length finish with shades of vanilla yogurt, nutskin, and roasted carrot with silky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A fun, savory, meaty zin that will be great at the table.
Haraszthy Family Cellars 2013 Reserve Indian Springs Ranch Zinfandel
91 points
$33.99
Garnet black color. Delicate, savory, roasted aromas and flavors of roasted berries, smoked nuts, mocha fudge, and grilled meat with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, compelling, medium-long finish with accents of craisin in cream, oak, pepper, and nuts with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A round, meaty, peppery zinfandel.
91 points $33.99
Cloak & Dagger 2010 "Novos Ordo Seclorum" Cuvée Reserve Paso Robles
91 points
$38
Dark garnet color. Bright aromas and flavors of milk chocolate, dried berries, and chestnut honey with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, captivating, medium-length finish with nuances of cranberry relish, nut, and carrot with silky, fine tannins. A savory sangiovese led sipper.
Terra d’Oro 2014  Teroldego
90 points
$18
Best Buy
Dark violet color. Bright, fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of huckleberry jam on toast, spiced nuts, chocolate, and hint of sassafras with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, engaging, medium-long finish with notes of roasted beets and honeyed figs with moderate oak flavor. A juicy, chewy red that will shine at the table.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Maddalena 2014  Zinfandel
90 points
$20
Dusty deep purple color. Delicate, spicy aromas and flavors of roasted nuts and coconuts, dark berry tart, and dark chocolate with a satiny, tangy, medium body and a warming, appealing, medium-long finish with accents of cherry compote, spiced apples, pepper, and cedar with moderate oak flavor. A round, toothsome zin with a nice savory streak.
Philo Ridge Vineyards 2013 Vittorios Vineyard Primitivo
90 points
$28
Dusty garnet color. Delicate aromas and flavors of pine and cedar forest, dried berries and cherries, and melted chocolate with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a refreshing, medium-length finish that presents accents of delicate brown spices and nutskin with earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nicely structured, claret style zin that is somewhat reminiscent of a nice Amarone.
Opaque 2014  Zinfandel
90 points
$30
Opaque bright dark deep purple color. Bright, roasted aromas and flavors of butter roasted nuts, leather, toasted cranberry bread, and hint of bacon with a soft, lively, fruity full body and a smooth, complex, medium-length finish displaying notes of chocolate berries, spiced nuts, toasty oak, and roasted coffee beans with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A super fruit and stylish zinfandel with bold, toasty spice oak at every turn; a must for zin heads.
Ledson 2012 "Century Vine" Zinfandel
90 points
$54
Violet color. Delicate, fruity aromas of brandied raisins, cherry bread, cocoa, and spices with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long marinated beets, vanilla cola, pickling spices, and dried meat finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak flavor. A brawny, savory zin.
Pianetta 2013  Barbera
90 points
$54
Bright dark nearly opaque color. Bright, fruity, toasty aromas of ripe black currants, carbon filter, black raspberries, and mocha - black pepper with an tangy, dry full body and a peppery, nuanced, crisp finish with earthy, firm, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. Rustic spicy fruit flavors are alluring and the vibrant acidity lifts the flavors.
Montevina 2013 Skyland Ridge Barbera
89 points
$12
Best Buy
Garnet violet color. Delicate, fruity aromas and flavors of dried berries, chocolate almond toffee, and hint of caramelized bacon with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and an even, interesting, cheery finish with accents of cedar and birch bark, spiced cherries, and char-roasted nuts with crunchy tannins and light oak flavor. A nice juicy barbera with zesty, crunchy food-friendly acidity and tannins.
89 points $12 Best Buy
Haraszthy Family Cellars 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel
89 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Bright medium brick red color. Lively, earthy, fruity toasty minerally aromas of black raspberries, flint, mocha - planked oak, and black pepper with a chewy, tangy, dryish full body and a peppery, nuanced, medium-length finish with earthy, crunchy, firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. Big juicy red with a real sense of place, a lovely underlying mineral component. It speaks to the regional differences of California Zinfandel. Very hedonic.
89 points $14.99 Best Buy
Green Truck 2013 Made with Organic Grapes Zinfandel
89 points
$17.99
Ruby color. Delicate, fruity aromas and flavors of dried sour cherries, vanilla nut brittle, honey, and suede with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length finish evoking touches of blueberry compote, spiced nuts, apple, and hint of pepper with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A juicy, crunchy zin with nice varietal character.
89 points $17.99
Terra d’Oro 2014  Barbera
89 points
$18
Nearly opaque bright dark dusty color. Bright, fruity, toasty aromas of ripe blackberries, spiced black cherries, bread toast, and mocha - raisinettes with an vibrant, dryish full body and a peppery, elegant, medium-length finish with well-integrated, fruit tannins and moderate oak flavor. Big dark fruit flavors are seamlessly integrated, good length.
Byington 2013 Moniz Vineyard Zinfandel
89 points
$29
Bright dark nearly opaque deep color. Lively, fruity, toasty aromas of caramelized nuts, berry custard pie, spiced cocoa, and cedar with an oily, tangy, fruity medium-full body and a warming, intricate, medium-length orange marmalade on nut toast and pepper bread finish with soft tannins and moderate oak flavor. A rich creamy, rock solid zin.
Pianetta 2013  Sangiovese
89 points
$32
Bright light medium ruby color. Bright, fruity aromas of baked berries, chocolate nuts, and prunes with an even, tangy, dry full body and a warming, amusing, brisk finish with crunchy, earthy, leafy tannins and light oak flavor.
Small Hours 2012  Zinfandel
88 points
$17.99
Dusty garnet color. Mild, citrusy aromas and flavors of blood orange and lime, blackberry tart, and praline with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a breezy finish with notes of beets and cedar mulch with firm, leafy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A mellow oak zin for the table.
88 points $17.99
Cardella 2013 Vineyard 22 Sangiovese
88 points
$18
Bright medium light garnet color. Lively, fruity, nutty peppery aromas of cherries, roasted chestnuts, turned earth, and oak with a tangy, dry full body and a peppery, snappy honey roasted tomato finish with earthy, grippy tannins and light oak flavor. A nice dusty sangiovese for the table.
Terra d’Oro 2014  Zinfandel
88 points
$18
Garnet black color. Bright, fresh aromas of prunes and craisins, hot chocolate, and spiced nuts with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, appealing, medium-length vanilla cream, smoked nuts, and oak finish with silky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A solid, fruity, oak-accented zinfandel.
Tinto Rey 2014  Verdejo
88 points
$18
Bright golden yellow color. Bright, toasty aromas and flavors of grilled apples and pineapples with a silky, crisp, fruity medium-full body and a warming, medium-length finish revealing notes of coconut juice, nuts, and hint of spice with earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A mellow, tropical quaffer with a healthy dose of oak.
Andis Wines 2012 Cooper Ranch Barbera
88 points
$19.99
Bright medium dark dusty ruby color. Bright, oaky, fruity creamy savory aromas of ripe black currants, spiced mulberries, petrol - minerality, and butter cream with a tangy, dry full body and a peppery, nuanced, quick finish with crunchy tannins and light oak flavor. Nice juicy, almost buttery rustic component gives this wine food appeal.
88 points $19.99
Folie à Deux 2012  Zinfandel
88 points
$20
Garnet black color. Bright, fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of spicy berry chutney, anise, and sandalwood with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, medium-length finish that shows notes of berry custard with fine, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A nice juicy and smooth zin.
Joel Gott 2014  Zinfandel
87 points
$18
Bright medium burnt sienna color. Fruity aromas of black raspberries, spiced sultana raisins, tree bark, and black pepper with a racy, dryish full body and a peppery, intricate, easy finish with earthy, barky tannins and moderate oak flavor. An easy big juicy red.
Matchbook 2012  Tempranillo
86 points
$15
Best Buy
Bright medium dark dusty ruby color. Lively, fruity, savory funky aromas of tart cherries, tobacco, toasted lees, and cedar with an tart, dry full body and a warming, interesting, snappy finish with earthy, leafy tannins and moderate oak flavor.
86 points $15 Best Buy
Philo Ridge Vineyards 2012 Firebrick Vineyard Zinfandel
86 points
$28
Nearly opaque bright dark dusty color. Bright, grainy, fruity toasty earthy aromas of black raspberry - hostess fruit pies, bramble - potters clay, baked parchment, and black pepper with a tangy, dry-yet-fruity full body and a peppery, engaging, medium finish with papery, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor.
Spangler 2013  Sangiovese
86 points
$29
Bright medium dark brick red color. Fruity, toasty rubbery savory aromas of cherries, petrol - clarified butter, pressed linen, and planked white oak with a chewy, lively, dry full body and a warming, compelling, medium finish with woody, grippy, cottony tannins and heavy oak flavor.
Cloak & Dagger 2010 "The Defector" Reserve Zinfandel
86 points
$36
Dark opaque color. Bright, fruity, minerally aromas of black raspberries, planked cedar - clay, baked parchment, and pepper with a chewy, puckering, dry full body and a peppery, captivating, quick finish with earthy, papery tannins and moderate oak flavor.
Four Sisters Ranch 2013  Zinfandel
85 points
Dark garnet color. Bright, citrusy aromas and flavors of lemon and orange zest, chocolate mint, and cranberry bread toast with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, delightful, medium-length finish that shows accents of roasted root vegetables, lemon pepper, nuts, and cedar with dusty, crunchy tannins. A lively, easy drinking zin.
Zinfandelic 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel
85 points
$19
Deep purple color. Faint aromas and flavors of nuts and dried berries with a satiny, tart, dryish medium body and a breezy finish with notes of cranberry, dusty spices, and cedar bark with cottony tannins and heavy oak flavor. A tart, tannic, and tight zin for the table; give this time.
Sutter Home NV  Zinfandel
84 points
$6
Best Buy
Dark garnet color. Lively aromas and flavors of raspberry preserves, vanilla toffee, and mocha fudge with a silky, tangy, fruity medium body and a smooth, brisk finish with notes of grape skin, nut skins and shells, and oak with crunchy, leafy tannins and light oak flavor. A nice fruity quaffer.
84 points $6 Best Buy
Ménage à Trois 2014  Zinfandel
82 points
$14
Dusty garnet color. Bright, fruity, spicy aromas of dried berries, powdered citrus, and almond and anisette cookies with a silky, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, brisk popsicle sticks, beets, and gravel and grass finish with firm, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A sturdy, oaky zin.
Spangler 2012  Tempranillo
82 points
$27
Garnet black color. Bright, baked aromas and flavors of roasted berries, ink and oil, and pepper with a soft, dry medium body and a tingling, fast finish revealing suggestions of marinated beets, grass, and cedar mulch with firm, grippy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A very dry and mellow table wine.
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