Full Review

Ledson

Ledson
2012 "Century Vine", Zinfandel, Russian River Valley

Pair this wine with:
Beef Vegetables

Category: Zinfandel

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 14.5% RS: .09%
90 Points
Gold Medal
Exceptional
$54

Ledson
2012 "Century Vine", Zinfandel, Russian River Valley

Pair this wine with:
Beef Vegetables

Category: Zinfandel

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 14.5% RS: .09%
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, engaging, medium-long marinated beets, vanilla cola, pickling spices, and dried meat finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A brawny, savory zin.

Tasting Info

Wine Glass Style: Juicy, smooth, oaky & rich & full
Aroma Aroma: brandied raisins, cherry bread, cocoa, and spices
Taste Flavor: marinated beets, vanilla cola, pickling spices, and dried meat
Sweetness Sweetness: Dry-yet-Fruity
Enjoy Enjoy: Now-3 years on its own
Recipes Pairing: Prime Rib Sandwich, Herb Crusted Pot Roast, Beef Stew
Bottom Line Bottom Line: A brawny, savory zin.

The Producer

Ledson Winery & Vineyard

The Producer
PO Box 653
Kenwood, CA 95452
USA
1 707-537-3823

Their Portfolio

92 Ledson 2013 Chardonnay, Carneros 14.2% (USA) $38.00.
93 Ledson 2013 Reserve, Chardonnay, Carneros 14.2% (USA) $48.00.
84 Ledson 2012 Sangiovese, Knights Valley 14.5% (USA) $40.00.
90 Ledson 2012 "Ciapusci Ancient Vine", Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley 14.5% (USA) $68.00.
88 Ledson 2012 Zinfandel, Mendocino Ridge 14.5% (USA) $58.00.
92 Ledson 2011 "Estate Old Vine", Petite Sirah, Sonoma Valley 14.1% (USA) $44.00.
87 Ledson 2012 "Estate Vinyard", Syrah, Sonoma Valley 14.5% (USA) $42.00.
92 Ledson 2014 Chardonnay, Carneros 14.2% (USA) $40.00.
88 Ledson 2014 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 14.2% (USA) $40.00.
92 Ledson 2014 Estate Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 14.0% (USA) $48.00.
94 Ledson 2014 "Estate Vineyard", Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 14.0% (USA) $60.00.
95 Ledson 2014 Reserve " Estate Vineyard", Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 14.0% (USA) $66.00.
85 Ledson 2012 Carignane, Redwood Valley 14.5% (USA) $36.00.
90 Ledson 2012 "Century Vine", Zinfandel, Russian River Valley 14.5% (USA) $54.00.
92 Ledson 2013 "Mes Trois Amours", Sonoma Valley 14.5% (USA) $48.00.
86 Ledson 2012 Estate Vineyard, Syrah, Sonoma Valley 14.5% (USA) $46.00.
92 Ledson 2012 Estate Old Vine, Petite Sirah, Sonoma Valley 14.5% (USA) $46.00.
89 Ledson 2013 Sangiovese, Knights Valley 14.5% (USA) $40.00.
92 Ledson 2012 "Amy’s Vineyard", Zinfandel, Russian River Valley 14.5% (USA) $54.00.
90 Ledson 2013 "Old Vine", Zinfandel, Russian River Valley 14.5% (USA) $32.00.
91 Ledson 2014 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 14.2% (USA) $44.00.
94 Ledson 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley 15.3% (USA) $70.00.
93 Ledson 2013 Malbec, Dry Creek Valley 14.5% (USA) $48.00.
90 Ledson 2013 "Gunsight", California 14.5% (USA) $32.00.
88 Ledson 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley 13.5% (USA) $34.00.
92 Ledson 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 13.5% (USA) $34.00.
93 Ledson 2013 Estate Old Vine, Petite Sirah, Sonoma Valley 14.5% (USA) $46.00.
86 Ledson 2013 Estate Vineyard, Syrah, Sonoma Valley 14.5% (USA) $46.00.
91 Ledson 2014 Estate Old Vine, Carignane, Redwood Valley 14.5% (USA) $36.00.
92 Ledson 2013 Tiamo Red Blend, Alexander Valley 15.3% (USA) $86.00.
94 Ledson 2013 Cepage Red Blend, Sonoma Valley 15.3% (USA) $86.00.
84 Ledson 2016 Pinot Rosé, Russian River Valley 14.2% (USA) $30.00.
92 Ledson 2013 Estate Vineyard, Syrah, Sonoma Valley 14.5% (USA) $46.00.
89 Ledson 2016 Viognier, Sonoma Coast 13.5% (USA) $32.00.
91 Ledson 2013 Estate Vineyard, Petite Sirah, Sonoma Valley 14.5% (USA) $46.00.
87 Ledson 2014 Sweet Ida May Late Harvest, Zinfandel, Redwood Valley 18% (USA) $50.00.
91 Ledson 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain 14.5% (USA) $100.00.
89 Ledson 2013 Estate Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 15.3% (USA) $90.00.
86 Ledson 2014 Malbec, Dry Creek Valley 14.8% (USA) $56.00.
92 Ledson 2014 Moon Mountain Estate Vineyard, Merlot, Sonoma County 14.7% (USA) $72.00.
90 Ledson 2014 Estate Vineyard, Merlot, Sonoma Valley 14.7% (USA) $68.00.
92 Ledson 2014 Bellisimo Red Blend, Sonoma Valley 14.9% (USA) $86.00.
87 Ledson 2014 Reserve, Chardonnay, Carneros 14.2% (USA) $52.00.
90 Ledson 2014 Ricetti Lane Old Vine, Zinfandel, Redwood Valley 14.5% (USA) $32.00.
93 Ledson 2013 Century Vine Reserve, Zinfandel, Russian River Valley 14.5% (USA) $68.00.
93 Ledson 2014 Estate Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley 14.7% (USA) $70.00.
89 Ledson 2013 Estate Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 15.3% (USA) $90.00.
91 Ledson 2014 Ti Amo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 14.9% (USA) $86.00.
90 Ledson 2015 Estate Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 14.2% (USA) $42.00.
92 Ledson 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 13.5% (USA) $36.00.
88 Ledson 2014 Mes Trois Amours, Sonoma Valley 14.5% (USA) $48.00.
90 Ledson 2014 Estate Vineyard, Syrah, Sonoma Valley 14.5% (USA) $46.00.
89 Ledson 2014 Estate Vineyard, Petite Sirah, Sonoma Valley 14.5% (USA) $46.00.
93 Ledson 2014 Cepage, Sonoma Valley 14.9% (USA) $86.00.
90 Ledson 2016 Estate Vineyard Reserve, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 14.2% (USA) $66.00.
92 Ledson 2015 Old Vine, Zinfandel, Howell Mountain 14.5% (USA) $56.00.
93 Ledson 2015 Baldocchi Old Vine, Zinfandel, Russian River Valley 14.5% (USA) $36.00.
87 Ledson 2016 Ricetti Lane, Grenache, Redwood Valley 14.5% (USA) $40.00.
88 Ledson 2014 Malbec, Dry Creek Valley 14.8% (USA) $48.00.
92 Ledson 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 14.9% (USA) $94.00.

Zinfandel

Wine Glass Zinfandel.jpg
Serve in a Zinfandel Wine Glass
Zinfandel first came to American shores by way of the Schonbrunn collection which contained all the wine varietals grown in the Austrian empire. The earliest mention of Zinfandel, by name, in America was a vine nursery in Long Island in the 1820s. It made its way to California in the gold rush and thrived because of its hearty constitution and vigorous yields. Many a prospector had a little vineyard of Zinfandel and washed away their sorrows in their purple cups.

Zinfandel is California’s pride and joy, a zesty, spicy, alcoholic (often 15% or more) wine that fits in well with the frontier spirit of the Golden State. The grape is believed to be related to one or more varieties in Croatia, while in the southern Italian region of Puglia, Zinfandel is a name sometimes given to the Primitivo grape.

While there are excellent plantings of Zinfandel in may California regions, the districts of Lodi and Contra Costa County are very famous for this grape, especially as there are numerous “old vine” plantings that are often more than one hundred years of age. These vines produce tiny quantities, but the resulting wines are intensely spicy and brambly. Zinfandel has a good deal of natural tannin, so these wines can age well, as long as the winemaker can find the proper balance, not always an easy thing. Zinfandels from Ridge Vineyards, a celebrated producer in Santa Cruz County, are among the longest-lived and most refined examples.

Recommended foods for Zinfandel are grilled or barbecued meats, wild game and stews – the heartier, the better. White Zinfandel, not to be confused with Zinfandel (red) is a blush wine, generally lighter-bodied with moderate sweetness.

For a hundred years, zinfandel was the king of California reds. In 1884 it accounted for 40 percent of all the state's grape vines, but the grand old vineyards fell victim to modern economics and changing trends.

Luckily, a small band of dedicated producers, coupled with a near-fanatical cult following, have continued to hold out. Against all odds, the pendulum just might be poised to swing back.

So just what is it about these old vineyards that is helping to put zinfandel back on the map? The consensus seems to be that a vineyard reaches a qualitative peak between 25 and 50 years old. Because of prohibition, there are relatively few old vineyards in California. Of the state's 350,000 acres of vinifera, fewer than three percent are over 50 years old. The vast majority of these are devoted to zinfandel. While the percentage of cabernet vineyards exceeding even 25 years of age is minute, it is quite possible to sample the fruits of a fully mature zinfandel vineyard, often at half the price.

In addition, old vineyards inherently produce less fruit. This factor provides a natural limit on the vine's tendency to overproduce. Though a problem if quantity is the ultimate goal, it is an essential factor in the production of high-quality wines. With the price of cabernet rising so precipitously in the last few years, it has once again become economical for vintners to produce wine from shy-yielding old zinfandel vineyards; winemakers are scouring the state looking for the odd parcel of vines. Also, vintners have learned how well some of the old methods of pruning and farming have worked, and are seeking to apply these principles in new plantings.

Paul Draper, winemaker and CEO of Ridge Vineyards, summed up zinfandel's appeal best: "Zinfandel has so much forward fruit that it's sensual to drink right away. Its appeal is immediate, whereas cabernet needs time to develop. You can have a very sensual experience with cabernet, but you can have a comparable experience with young zinfandel--which is why, in a restaurant, I'd be more likely to order a zinfandel than a cabernet."