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
219806
Davine Cellars
2014 Zinfandel
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 cherry compote, vanilla praline, and pepper finish with chewy, silky tannins and light oak. A rich, layered zinfandel with buckets of flavorful fun.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219362
Tonti Family Wines
2014 Old Vine Reserve Zinfandel
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. A spot on zinfandel, rich and juicy with good tannins and structure.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219863
Peirano
2015 Heritage Old Vine Zinfandel
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 sour cherries, black raspberries in cream, chocolate toffee, and pepper finish with fine, crunchy tannins and light oak. A delicious zinfandel bursting with flavor and varietal character.
93 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220100
Due Ruscelli Vineyards
2013 Reserve Primitivo
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. A playful wine with juicy and rich flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220114
Etrusca
2013 Red Blend Zinfandel
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. A powerfully delicious Zinfandel with rich juicy flavors and fine balance.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219780
Valley of the Moon
2013 Zinfandel
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. A savory zinfandel; bold and elegant.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220000
Waving Tree
2012 Estate Reserve Sangiovese
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 nopales finish with medium tannins and a suggestion of oak. A lip-smacking Sangiovese with sophisticated floral nuances.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219849
1850 Wine Cellars
2014 Sangiovese
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. A bold Sangiovese that will hold up well to rich dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219733
Crimson Roots
2014 Old Vines Zinfandel
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. A precisely balanced wine; try it with roast beef.
90 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219837
Joel Gott
2015 Zinfandel
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. A big, bold, Cali Zin for purists.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219945
Kestrel
2013 Falcon Series Estate Sangiovese
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 leather, dried bing cherries, and miso finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A fruit-forward Sangiovese with chewy tannins for big meals.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219864
Peirano
2014 The Immortal Old Vine Zinfandel
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 milk chocolate bar and caramel apple finish with soft tannins. A super smooth and fruity Zinfandel pleaser.
89 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219838
Ménage à Trois
2015 Zinfandel
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. A lip-smacking Zin bursting with fruit flavor.
89 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219861
Nevada Ridge
2014 Tempranillo
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. A nice, complex Tempranillo with a long finish.
89 points $21.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219999
Waving Tree
2012 Estate Sangiovese
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 cherry coulis and pastry crust finish with well-integrated, medium tannins and a suggestion of oak. A charming Sangiovese that will be even better with rich foods.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220001
Waving Tree
2011 Estate Nebbiolo
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. A new world Nebbiolo with old world flare.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219848
1850 Wine Cellars
2015 Zinfandel
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 purple corn pudding, black licorice, and blackberry fruit leather finish with well-integrated, leafy tannins. Brooding dark fruits reign in this attractive Zinfandel.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220101
Due Ruscelli Vineyards
2013 Primitivo
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. A red wine that craves braised meats.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219782
Madrone Estate
2014 Estate Grown Sangiovese
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. A tight Sangiovese with grippy tannins that crave food.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219699
Cloak & Dagger
2014 The Defector Reserve Zinfandel
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. A mature and full zinfandel that will pair nicely with rich foods.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219839
Montevina
2014 Zinfandel
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. A bright, fresh, and juicy Zin.
88 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219917
Maddalena
2015 Zinfandel
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. A nicely concentrated Zin balanced with fruit, spice, and drying minerality.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219759
Handley Cellars
2014 Zinfandel
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. A nice, mature Zin for great grilled meat pairings.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219869
Sivas-Sonoma
2014 Old Vine Zinfandel
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219939
Brutocao
2013 Estate Bottled Quadriga Hopland Ranches Red Blend Mendocino
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 country relish, dill, and fresh summer berry finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A well made Italian varietal blend with big complexity and charm.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219940
Brutocao
2013 Estate Bottled Bliss Vineyard Zinfandel
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 sweet licorice finish with chewy, firm tannins. A nice juicy Zin for everyday.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219781
Madrone Estate
2013 Estate Grown Barbera
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of ripe plum, cinnamon, and cedar with a silky, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a breezy vanilla pudding finish with silky tannins. A fuller bodied Barbera with very soft tannins; easy drinking for everyday.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219363
Tonti Family Wines
2014 Old Vine Artisan Series Zinfandel
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. A juicy, jammy Zin for fruit-heads.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219779
Madrone Estate
2012 Old Vine Stewart Family Reserve Zinfandel
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 dark chocolate and bitter walnut finish with well-integrated, medium tannins and moderate oak. A solid zinfandel for everyday use.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219865
Peirano
2015 Heritage Tempranillo
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. An easy drinking Tempranillo to have on its own or with dinner.
87 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219937
Bliss Family Vineyards
2014 Estate Bottled Zinfandel
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. A nice lighter bodied Zin for sipping alone or light meals.
87 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220103
Due Ruscelli Vineyards
2011 Primitivo
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. A juicy and lip-smacking Primitivo.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219810
Michael Gill Cellars
2015 Estate Bottled Tantrum Tempranillo
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 tomato sauce and dried herbs finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A giant Tempranillo with rustic fruit flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219836
Sutter Home
NV Zinfandel
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. An elegant Zin displaying both flowers and fruit.
86 points $6 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220045
Barefoot
NV Zinfandel
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219938
Bliss Family Vineyards
Blissful Red Mendocino
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219929
Burning Tree Cellars
2015 The Archer Sangiovese
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 pencil shavings, chocolate studded scone, and pineapple husk finish with papery tannins and light oak. A cherry scented silky crusher for light meals.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219870
Big Smooth
2014 Old Vine Zinfandel
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 sour custard pie, delicate spiced nuts, poached apple, and sandalwood finish with a suggestion of oak. A nice easy pizza wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219783
Madrone Estate
2014 Old Vine Estate Zinfandel
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. A brawny Zin to stand up to big dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220002
Waving Tree
2010 Barbera
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219859
Nevada Ridge
2014 Primitivo
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. A funky and intense wine.
85 points $21.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219858
Nevada Ridge
2014 Zinfandel
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. Rich flavors will make this wine a hit at the dinner table.
85 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220115
Gamba
2014 Family Ranch Zinfandel
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. A nice wine to take on earthy flavors at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219833
Small Hours
2015 Zinfandel
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. A juicy Lodi Zin for the table.
84 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220004
Waving Tree
NV Po Dolce Red Blend Barbera
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 peach mango yogurt and coconut cream finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. An off-dry red for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219860
Nevada Ridge
2014 Barbera
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. A tangy Barbera for rich dinners.
84 points $21.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220003
Waving Tree
2010 Reserve Estate Barbera
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 chocolate chip finish with well-integrated tannins and a suggestion of oak. A tart Barbera with a spicy character; try with robust pasta dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219698
Cloak & Dagger
2014 Illuminatus Reserve Sangiovese
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220091
Cooper’s Hawk
NV Barbera
Dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of smoked peppercorn and wool with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a brisk cassis finish with medium tannins. A juicy wine for the table.
83 points $22.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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