Full Review

Small Hours

Small Hours
2013 Zinfandel, Lodi

Pair this wine with:
Beef Vegetables

Category: Zinfandel

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 14.4% RS: <1%
93 Points
Gold Medal
Best Buy

Small Hours
2013 Zinfandel, Lodi

Pair this wine with:
Beef Vegetables

Category: Zinfandel

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 14.4% RS: <1%
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.

Tasting Info

Wine Glass Style: Juicy, smooth & rich & full
Aroma Aroma: dark roasted nuts and berry pie crust
Taste Flavor: minerals, dried sour cherries, delicate peppery spices, and beets
Sweetness Sweetness: Dry-yet-Fruity
Enjoy Enjoy: Now on its own or with food
Recipes Pairing: Pot Roast, Steak & Potatoes, Beef Stew
Bottom Line Bottom Line: A delicious and poised claret styled zin.

The Producer

Traveling Vineyard

The Producer
127 High Street
Ipswich, MA 01938
1 707-234-4747

Their Portfolio

89 5 String 2015 Petite Sirah, Lodi 12.44% (USA) $21.99.
92 Activist 2016 Private Reserve, Syrah, Santa Barbara County 13.38% (USA) $28.99.
91 Amped 2014 Tannat, Tulum Valley 13.8% (Argentina) $16.99.
91 Armatura 2014 Governo all’uso Toscano, Rosso di Toscano IGT 13.3% (Italy) $22.99.
90 Avincerre 2015 Rosso Piceno DOC 13% (Italy) $17.99.
88 Beeline 2014 Muscat Canelli, Mendocino 12.34% (USA) $17.99.
86 Beeline 2015 Symphony, Lodi 12.1% (USA) $17.99.
84 Bella Mente 2015 Pinot Grigio, Venezie IGP 11.5% (Italy) $16.99.
88 Bella Mente 2016 Pinot Grigio, Delle Venezie IGT 11.5% (Italy) $16.99.
84 Bent Gate 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 13% (USA) $17.99.
84 Bentgate 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi 13.7% (USA) $19.99.
84 Boombox 2013 Syrah, California 13.4% (USA) $17.99.
85 Burl 2014 Pinotage, Western Cape 13.5% (South Africa) $15.99.
86 Caballeria de Luna 2015 White, Penedes 11.5% (Spain) $14.99.
85 Caballeria de Luna 2016 Off-Dry White Blend, Penedes 12% (Spain) $14.99.
84 Calamity Sue 2015 Riesling, Monterey County 11.3% (USA) $16.99.
89 Giovina 2014 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 13.5% (Italy) $17.99.
88 Heist 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Ynez Valley 14.52% (USA) $27.99.
88 Hoot 2016 White Blend, Symphony-Muscat of Alexandria, California 12.4% (USA) $16.99.
86 Hot Ticket 2015 Shiraz, Murray-Darling 14.5% (Australia) $16.99.
82 Ibrido 2015 Manzoni Bianco, Veneto IGP 12.5% (Italy) $15.99.
90 Ignia 2014 Red Blend, Portugal 13.9% (Portugal) $17.99.
92 Ignia 2015 Portuguese Red, Portugal 13.8% (Portugal) $17.99.
88 Jitterbug 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, California 13.27% (USA) $17.99.
84 Kesari 2015 Torrontes, Famatina Valley 13.5% (Argentina) $15.99.
83 Lancre 2016 Rose, Pays d’Oc IGP 12.5% (France) $16.99.
87 Lulo 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley 13% (USA) $19.99.
84 LUXX 2014 Merlot, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara 13.9% (USA) $29.99.
87 LUXX 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara 14.3% (USA) $29.99.
89 LUXX 2016 Sculpterra Vineyard, Merlot, Paso Robles 13.43% (USA) $29.99.
88 Marula 2015 Pinotage, Western Cape 13.8% (South Africa) $15.99.
88 OJA! 2014 Monastrell-Syrah, Yecla 13.8% (Spain) $16.99.
88 OJA! 2015 Monastrell - Syrah, Yecla 14.4% (Spain) $15.99.
87 OJA! 2016 Monastrell-Syrah, Yecla 13.9% (Spain) $15.99.
85 Pebble 2013 Viognier, Mendocino 14.2% (USA) $16.99.
86 Pebble 2016 Viognier, California 13.9% (USA) $17.99.
87 Peekaboo 2016 Chardonnay, South-Eastern Australia 13.1% (Australia) $15.99.
85 Rayado 2015 "Living Beyond Breast Cancer", Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Valley 13.5% (Chile) $16.99.
91 Santoreggia 2014 Sangiovese, Puglia IGT 13.1% (Italy) $18.99.
88 Scusami 2016 Nero D’Avola-Merlot, Terra Siciliane IGT 13% (Italy) $16.99.
93 Small Hours 2013 Zinfandel, Lodi 14.4% (USA) $16.99.
88 Small Hours 2012 Zinfandel, Lodi 14.3% (USA) $17.99.
84 Small Hours 2015 Zinfandel, Lodi 16% (USA) $17.99.
88 Smirk 2015 Moscatel, Western Cape 12.55% (South Africa) $15.99.
90 Smirk 2016 Moscatel, Western Cape 12.5% (South Africa) $15.99.
86 Smirk 2017 Moscatel, Western Cape 12.5% (South Africa) $15.99.
88 Spruzzi 2014 Grillo, Terre Siciliane IGP 12.5% (Italy) $16.99.
88 Spruzzi 2015 Grillo, Terre Siciliane IGP 13.5% (Italy) $14.99.
89 State Room 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape 14.1% (South Africa) $17.99.
85 Steeple Street 2014 Chardonnay, California 13.55% (USA) $16.99.
86 Steeple Street 2016 Chardonnay, California 14.31% (USA) $17.99.
90 Tria 2014 Reserve, Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County 14.59% (USA) $29.99.
87 Tria 2012 Syrah, Mendocino 13.9% (USA) $17.99.
82 Tria 2013 Pinot Noir, Monterey County 14.09% (USA) $22.99.
85 Tria 2015 Syrah, Lodi 16.3% (USA) $23.99.
93 Tria 2016 Reserve, California 14.3% (USA) $25.99.
90 Whiskers 2012 Red Blend, Lodi 15% (USA) $19.99.
87 Whiskers 2014 Red Blend, High Valley 14.6% (USA) $19.99.
86 Zeffer Hills 2013 Chardonnay, San Benito County 13.11% (USA) $16.99.
85 Zeffer Hills 2014 Chardonnay, Monterey 13.6% (USA) $17.99.


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."