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Reviews for 2017

June 2017 - US Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals

June 2017 - US Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals
This month's Wine feature is US Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals Wines

US Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals Reviews

Davine Cellars 2014  Zinfandel
94 points
$48
Bright garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of dried berries, spiced nougat, and coconut bar with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, medium-long finish with notes of cherry compote, vanilla praline, and pepper with chewy, silky tannins and light oak flavor. A rich, layered zinfandel with buckets of flavorful fun.
Awards: 2017 Top 4 Best Zinfandel
Tonti Family Wines 2014 Old Vine Reserve Zinfandel
94 points
$50
Deep purple color. Rustic, fruity aromas of wild raspberry danish, iron rich soil, menthol, and touch of pepper with a slightly chewy, fruity sweet medium body and an intriguing, medium-long sun dried raspberries, sun dried tomatoes, sweet basil, and milk chocolate bar and terra cotta finish with firm, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A spot on zinfandel, rich and juicy with good tannins and structure.
Awards: 2017 Top 4 Best Zinfandel
Peirano 2015 Heritage Old Vine Zinfandel
93 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Bright dark garnet color. Toasty aromas and flavors of nutella on raisin toast, roasted chestnuts, and chocolate fondue with a supple, tangy, fruity medium body and a seamless, captivating, long finish that shows impressions of sour cherries, black raspberries in cream, chocolate toffee, and pepper with fine, crunchy tannins and light oak flavor. A delicious zinfandel bursting with flavor and varietal character.
93 points $12.99 Best Buy
Due Ruscelli Vineyards 2013 Reserve Primitivo
92 points
$39
Black dusty garnet color. Aromas of black raspberries, mocha, planked oak, and malabar pepper with an tangy, dry full body and a complex, breezy finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A playful wine with juicy and rich flavors.
Etrusca 2013 Red Blend Zinfandel
92 points
$44
Dark dusty ruby color. Aromas of cedar box, freeze dried berries, cigar wrapper, and candied rhubarb with a vibrant, medium-to-full body and a peppery, complex, medium-length crisp chocolate cookie, spice cherries, and roasted apples and mangos finish with medium tannins and moderate oak flavor. A powerfully delicious Zinfandel with rich juicy flavors and fine balance.
Valley of the Moon 2013  Zinfandel
91 points
$20
Medium dark ruby garnet color. Aromas and flavors of red currant, plum, black tea, and rosehip with a lively, dry medium-to-full body and a complex, long finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A savory zinfandel; bold and elegant.
Waving Tree 2012 Estate Reserve Sangiovese
91 points
$25
Dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of freeze dried cherry, blackberries, italian leather, and geranium with a lightly tannic, crisp, dry light-to-medium body and an interesting, medium-length finish with nuances of nopales with medium tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A lip-smacking Sangiovese with sophisticated floral nuances.
1850 Wine Cellars 2014  Sangiovese
91 points
$28
Dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of blueberry, cassis, blackberry, and coconut with a lively, dry full body and a subtle, medium-long finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A bold Sangiovese that will hold up well to rich dishes.
Crimson Roots 2014 Old Vines Zinfandel
90 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Dark ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of red currant, cherry, peach, and wet leaves with a bright, dry medium-to-full body and an appealing, medium-length finish with medium, soft tannins and light oak flavor. A precisely balanced wine; try it with roast beef.
90 points $12.99 Best Buy
Joel Gott 2015  Zinfandel
90 points
$18
Best Buy
Dark ruby color. Aromas and flavors of plum, blackberry, vanilla, and peach with an lively, dry-yet-fruity full body and a delightful, medium-long finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A big, bold, Cali Zin for purists.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Kestrel 2013 Falcon Series Estate Sangiovese
90 points
$25
Ruby black color. Rustic aromas and flavors of warm berry jam, spumoni, pickling spice, and chocolate silk pie with a satiny, vibrant, dryish medium body and a medium-long finish with notes of leather, dried bing cherries, and miso with chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A fruit-forward Sangiovese with chewy tannins for big meals.
Peirano 2014 The Immortal Old Vine Zinfandel
89 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Bright dusty garnet color. Attractive, fruity aromas and flavors of creme brulee and huckleberry jam on pound cake with a supple, vibrant, fruity medium body and an even, amusing, medium-length finish displaying nuances of milk chocolate bar and caramel apple with soft tannins. A super smooth and fruity Zinfandel pleaser.
89 points $12.99 Best Buy
Ménage à Trois 2015  Zinfandel
89 points
$14
Best Buy
Ruby color. Fresh, fruity aromas and flavors of ripe cherry, sweet pea blossom, and freshly tanned leather with a supple, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length finish with well-integrated, coating tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A lip-smacking Zin bursting with fruit flavor.
89 points $14 Best Buy
Nevada Ridge 2014  Tempranillo
89 points
$21.95
Dark garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of plum, cedar, coconut, and dill with a lively, dry full body and an elegant, medium-long finish with firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nice, complex Tempranillo with a long finish.
89 points $21.95
Waving Tree 2012 Estate Sangiovese
89 points
$25
Dark dusty ruby color. Elegant aromas and flavors of tart wild cherries, geranium, and leather with a silky, crisp, dryish medium body and a stimulating, medium-long finish that exhibits overtones of cherry coulis and pastry crust with well-integrated, medium tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A charming Sangiovese that will be even better with rich foods.
Waving Tree 2011 Estate Nebbiolo
89 points
$25
Dusty brown brick red color. Aromas of sun dried raisin, dried ginger, roasted crimini mushroom, and fig with a lightly tannic, dryish light body and a complex, medium-long pomegranate, tar, dried bouquet, and olive tapenade finish with papery tannins and moderate oak flavor. A new world Nebbiolo with old world flare.
1850 Wine Cellars 2015  Zinfandel
89 points
$28
Dark deep purple color. Rustic aromas and flavors of raspberry jam, violet, clove, and sandalwood and tomato leaf with a lightly tannic, crisp, fruity medium body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length finish that exhibits accents of purple corn pudding, black licorice, and blackberry fruit leather with well-integrated, leafy tannins. Brooding dark fruits reign in this attractive Zinfandel.
Due Ruscelli Vineyards 2013  Primitivo
89 points
$34
Nearly opaque ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of under ripe mulberries, planked oak, potters clay, and green peppercorns with a tangy, dry full body and a stimulating, brief finish with woody, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A red wine that craves braised meats.
Madrone Estate 2014 Estate Grown Sangiovese
89 points
$35
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of blueberry pie and leather with a tannic, crisp, dryish medium body and a medium-long finish with firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. A tight Sangiovese with grippy tannins that crave food.
Cloak & Dagger 2014 The Defector Reserve Zinfandel
89 points
$49
Bright garnet black color. Baked aromas of raisin, cinnamon spice, seville orange and cherry liqueur, and licorice with a chewy, crisp, dryish medium-to-full body and a peppery, compelling, medium-long sweet black tea, black raspberry sauce, balsamic vinegar, and honey and green peppercorn finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A mature and full zinfandel that will pair nicely with rich foods.
Montevina 2014  Zinfandel
88 points
$12
Best Buy
Bright dusty garnet color. Toasty aromas of blueberry pie, fresh cigar, sweet pea blossom, and chai tea with a slightly chewy, bright, fruity sweet medium body and an appealing, medium-length pie crust, chocolate covered dried blueberry, and wet ash finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A bright, fresh, and juicy Zin.
88 points $12 Best Buy
Maddalena 2015  Zinfandel
88 points
$19
Bright ruby black color. Spicy aromas of stewed plum and black tea, dark berry, cinnamon candy, and lime leaf with a lightly tannic, crisp, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long moist tobacco, mineral, and plum skins finish with grippy, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nicely concentrated Zin balanced with fruit, spice, and drying minerality.
Handley Cellars 2014  Zinfandel
88 points
$25
Dusty violet color. Aromas of dried cranberries, raspberry vanilla parfait, and game with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium body and an intriguing, medium-long milk chocolate, graham cracker crust, and half consumed cigar finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nice, mature Zin for great grilled meat pairings.
Sivas-Sonoma 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel
88 points
$25
Dusty garnet color. Baked, rustic aromas of baked dark fruit pie, strawberry and sage, menthol, and dried leaves with a velvety, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length blistered blackberry and cured meats, Italian leather, plump raisin, and chocolate powder finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins. A crispy Zin with a baked quality.
Brutocao 2013 Estate Bottled Quadriga Hopland Ranches Red Blend Mendocino
88 points
$26
Dark dusty ruby color. Fruity aromas and flavors of sun-dried dark fruit, stewing berries, oregano, and rosemary with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-long finish with accents of country relish, dill, and fresh summer berry with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A well made Italian varietal blend with big complexity and charm.
Brutocao 2013 Estate Bottled Bliss Vineyard Zinfandel
88 points
$26
Ruby color. Jammy, fruity aromas and flavors of vanilla-berry gelato and thyme with a lightly tannic, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a relaxed finish imparting accents of sweet licorice with chewy, firm tannins. A nice juicy Zin for everyday.
Madrone Estate 2013 Estate Grown Barbera
88 points
$40
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of ripe plum, cinnamon, and cedar with a silky, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a breezy finish displaying touches of vanilla pudding with silky tannins. A fuller bodied Barbera with very soft tannins; easy drinking for everyday.
Tonti Family Wines 2014 Old Vine Artisan Series Zinfandel
88 points
$60
Violet color. Fresh, fruity aromas of crushed fresh raspberries and dried orange wheels with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a breezy berry jam and coconut cream, tanned leather and figs, dried lavender, and spicy salted chocolate finish with chewy, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A juicy, jammy Zin for fruit-heads.
Madrone Estate 2012 Old Vine Stewart Family Reserve Zinfandel
88 points
$65
Bright dusty garnet color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of spiced stewed plum, potpourri, and brandied cherries with a round, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, compelling, medium-length finish with shades of dark chocolate and bitter walnut with well-integrated, medium tannins and moderate oak flavor. A solid zinfandel for everyday use.
Peirano 2015 Heritage Tempranillo
87 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, plum, ripe peach, and jammy with a vibrant, dry medium-to-full body and a carefree finish with soft tannins and light oak flavor. An easy drinking Tempranillo to have on its own or with dinner.
87 points $12.99 Best Buy
Bliss Family Vineyards 2014 Estate Bottled Zinfandel
87 points
$14
Best Buy
Ruby garnet color. Fruity aromas of huckleberry jam, berry bubblegum, and peach coulis with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, medium-long finish with medium, crunchy tannins and light oak flavor. A nice lighter bodied Zin for sipping alone or light meals.
87 points $14 Best Buy
Due Ruscelli Vineyards 2011  Primitivo
87 points
$29
Bright dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of black raspberries, planked oak, mocha cream, turned earth, and pepper with an lively, dry full body and a complex, breezy finish with crunchy, woody, earthy tannins and light oak flavor. A juicy and lip-smacking Primitivo.
Michael Gill Cellars 2015 Estate Bottled Tantrum Tempranillo
87 points
$45
Dark black garnet color. Savory aromas and flavors of summer heirloom tomatoes, marigold, spring onion and celery seed, and passionfruit with a thick, crisp, dryish full body and a hot, interesting, medium-long finish with accents of tomato sauce and dried herbs with crunchy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A giant Tempranillo with rustic fruit flavors.
Sutter Home NV  Zinfandel
86 points
$6
Best Buy
Medium dark ruby color color. Aromas and flavors of cranberry, rosehip, wet leaves, and black tea with a vibrant, dry medium body and a buoyant finish with soft tannins and light oak flavor. An elegant Zin displaying both flowers and fruit.
86 points $6 Best Buy
Barefoot NV  Zinfandel
86 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Ruby black color. Fruity aromas of ripe raspberry, milk chocolate, night blooming jasmine, and anise with a round, fruity medium body and a peppery, compelling, long cinnamon tea, grape candy, white pepper, and cumin finish with well-integrated, medium tannins. A seductive, alluring Zin.
86 points $6.99 Best Buy
Bliss Family Vineyards  Blissful Red Mendocino
86 points
$14
Best Buy
Dark dusty garnet color. Complex aromas of grape jelly, fresh fig, macadamia nut, and orange peel with a satiny, soft, fruity medium body and a hot, breezy fresh blackberry, chocolate bar, and sweet basil finish with well-integrated tannins. A juicy Italian varietal blend for the table.
86 points $14 Best Buy
Burning Tree Cellars 2015 The Archer Sangiovese
86 points
$24
Bright light garnet color. Aromas and flavors of candied cherry and fresh mint with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a relaxed finish imparting notes of pencil shavings, chocolate studded scone, and pineapple husk with papery tannins and light oak flavor. A cherry scented silky crusher for light meals.
Big Smooth 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel
86 points
$25
Bright garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of ground nuts, chocolate milk, jam on toast, and cedar with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and a smooth, breezy finish with notes of sour custard pie, delicate spiced nuts, poached apple, and sandalwood with a suggestion of oak flavor. A nice easy pizza wine.
Madrone Estate 2014 Old Vine Estate Zinfandel
86 points
$35
Bright dark garnet color. Rustic aromas of cherry vanilla gelato with a coarse, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and a hot, breezy chocolate candy, candied nuts, and crispy sage finish with clunky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A brawny Zin to stand up to big dishes.
Waving Tree 2010  Barbera
85 points
$13
Dusty garnet color. Fruity aromas of raisin, dried currant, and pencil shavings with a satiny, tart, fruity medium body and a tingling, easy fresh currant, lemon spritz, and chocolate chunk finish. A tangy Barbera that is very food friendly.
Nevada Ridge 2014  Primitivo
85 points
$21.95
Bright brick red color. Aromas and flavors of jammy black raspberries, raisinettes, dried mint, funky yeast, planked oak, and clay with a tangy, dry full body and an appealing, quick finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A funky and intense wine.
85 points $21.95
Nevada Ridge 2014  Zinfandel
85 points
$29.95
Bright dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of baked black raspberries, planked oak, mocha, peanut brittle, turned earth, and pepper with a tangy, dry medium body and a rapid finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. Rich flavors will make this wine a hit at the dinner table.
85 points $29.95
Gamba 2014 Family Ranch Zinfandel
85 points
$39
Nearly opaque dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of black raspberries, minerality, planked oak, pepper and reductive notes with an tangy, dry full body and an interesting, brisk finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nice wine to take on earthy flavors at the table.
Small Hours 2015  Zinfandel
84 points
$17.99
Bright light garnet color. Aromas and flavors of green stems, under ripe berries, turned earth, and pepper with a tart, dry light-to-medium body and a brief finish with earthy, leafy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A juicy Lodi Zin for the table.
84 points $17.99
Waving Tree NV Po Dolce Red Blend Barbera
84 points
$20
Medium dusty garnet color. Jammy aromas and flavors of sun dried tomato, chocolate ice cream, and dried fig with a lightly tannic, bright, fruity sweet medium body and a medium-length finish imparting accents of peach mango yogurt and coconut cream with medium tannins and moderate oak flavor. An off-dry red for the table.
Nevada Ridge 2014  Barbera
84 points
$21.95
Dark dusty garnet color. Earthy aromas and flavors of cedar, beets, fresh basil, and overripe strawberry with a silky, puckering, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an involved, medium-length finish with well-integrated, medium tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A tangy Barbera for rich dinners.
84 points $21.95
Waving Tree 2010 Reserve Estate Barbera
84 points
$25
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of fresh plum and chai tea with a satiny, tangy, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, breezy finish with elements of chocolate chip with well-integrated tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A tart Barbera with a spicy character; try with robust pasta dishes.
Cloak & Dagger 2014 Illuminatus Reserve Sangiovese
84 points
$49
Dark deep purple color. Aromas of plum and chocolate chunk with a tannic, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a snappy blackberry preserve, spearmint, ground sweet paprika, and Italian herbs finish with gritty tannins and moderate oak flavor.
Cooper’s Hawk NV  Barbera
83 points
$22.99
Dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of smoked peppercorn and wool with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a brisk finish with suggestions of cassis with medium tannins. A juicy wine for the table.
83 points $22.99
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