Full Review

Small Hours

Small Hours
2015 Zinfandel, Lodi

Pair this wine with:
Beef Vegetables

Category: Zinfandel

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 16% RS: .3%
84 Points
Bronze Medal
Recommended
$17.99

Small Hours
2015 Zinfandel, Lodi

Pair this wine with:
Beef Vegetables

Category: Zinfandel

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 16% RS: .3%
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.

Tasting Info

Wine Glass Style: Quaffable
Aroma Aroma: green stems, under ripe berries, turned earth, and pepper
Taste Flavor: green stems, under ripe berries, turned earth, and pepper
Sweetness Sweetness: Dry
Enjoy Enjoy: Now with food
Recipes Pairing: Cheeseburger, Steak & Potatoes, Beef Stew
Bottom Line Bottom Line: A juicy Lodi Zin for the table.

The Producer

Traveling Vineyard

The Producer
127 High Street
Ipswich, MA 01938
USA
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.
92 Armatura 2015 Marche Rosso IGT 14.4% (Italy) $22.99.
90 Avincerre 2015 Rosso Piceno DOC 13% (Italy) $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.
92 Bright Eyed Bird NV White Blend, Paso Robles 14.96% (USA) $16.99.
88 Bright Eyed Bird NV White Blend, California 13.6% (USA) $17.99.
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.
93 Calamity Sue 2016 Riesling, Arroyo Seco 13.1% (USA) $17.99.
86 Fil Dore 2017 Pinot Gris, Pays d’Oc IGP 13% (France) $18.99.
81 Giovina 2017 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 13.5% (Italy) $17.99.
88 Hoot 2016 White Blend, Symphony-Muscat of Alexandria, California 12.4% (USA) $16.99.
88 Hoot 2018 White Blend, Paso Robles 13.6% (USA) $18.99.
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.
89 Ignia 2016 Portuguese Red Blend, Portugal 14.2% (Portugal) $17.99.
88 Jitterbug 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, California 13.27% (USA) $17.99.
88 Jitterbug 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, California 13.4% (USA) $17.99.
83 Lancre 2016 Rose, Pays d’Oc IGP 12.5% (France) $16.99.
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.
80 LUXX 2017 Merlot, Monterey County 13.72% (USA) $29.99.
88 Marula 2015 Pinotage, Western Cape 13.8% (South Africa) $15.99.
86 Moto Rouge 2018 Nebbiolo, Paso Robles 13.6% (USA) $19.99.
83 Never Have I Ever 2017 Pinot Noir, South-Eastern Australia 13.2% (Australia) $16.99.
87 OJA! 2016 Monastrell-Syrah, Yecla 13.9% (Spain) $15.99.
84 Pajama Drama 2018 Malvasia Bianca, Paso Robles 13.3% (USA) $17.99.
86 Pebble 2016 Viognier, California 13.9% (USA) $17.99.
92 Pebble 2016 Viognier, Paso Robles 13.3% (USA) $17.99.
87 Peekaboo 2016 Chardonnay, South-Eastern Australia 13.1% (Australia) $15.99.
82 Peekaboo 2017 Chardonnay, South-Eastern Australia 13.5% (Australia) $15.99.
86 Pendeloque 2018 Red Blend, Pays d’Oc IGP 14.05% (France) $17.99.
85 Rayado 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Valley 13% (Chile) $16.99.
88 Scusami 2016 Nero D’Avola-Merlot, Terra Siciliane IGT 13% (Italy) $16.99.
84 Small Hours 2015 Zinfandel, Lodi 16% (USA) $17.99.
84 Small Hours 2016 Zinfandel, Lodi 14.6% (USA) $17.99.
87 Small Hours 2018 Reserve, Zinfandel, Paso Robles 15.4% (USA) $19.99.
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 2015 Grillo, Terre Siciliane IGP 13.5% (Italy) $14.99.
89 State Room 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape 14.1% (South Africa) $17.99.
86 Steeple Street 2016 Chardonnay, California 14.31% (USA) $17.99.
84 Steeple Street 2016 Chardonnay, California 13.4% (USA) $17.99.
86 Three Hearts 2017 Rosé, Pays d’Oc IGP 13% (France) $18.99.
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.
88 Tria 2017 Syrah, California 13.9% (USA) $24.99.
80 Veronica Creek 2017 Red Blend, California 13.5% (USA) $19.99.
87 Zapatazo 2017 Torrontes, Famatina Valley 13% (Argentina) $17.99.
90 Zeffer Hills 2018 Chardonnay, Paso Robles-Lodi 14.22% (USA) $18.99.

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."