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Reviews for 2020

November 2020 - US Red Blends, Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals

November 2020 - US Red Blends, Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals
This month's Wine feature is US Red Blends, Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals Wines

US Red Blends, Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals Reviews

Oak Farm Vineyards 2019 Hohenrieder Single Vineyard Zinfandel
94 points
$35
Deep purple color. Herbal aromas and flavors of crushed blackberries, eucalyptus, black tea with honey, sweet anise, and sage with a round, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, intriguing, medium-long finish evoking suggestions of hints of ripe peach with firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. An herbaceous, fruity and generous Zinfandel that keeps on giving.
Pedroncelli 2017 Sonoma Classico Red Blend Other Red
93 points
$18
Best Buy
Black violet color. Earthy aromas and flavors of wild raspberry, macerated cherries, spiced almonds, horse blanket, tarragon, and thyme with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dryish full body and a smooth, complex, medium-long finish. An earthy but bright Red Blend that will shine with French fare.
93 points $18 Best Buy
Sobon Estate 2018 ReZerve® Zin Zinfandel
93 points
$24
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of blackberry confection, ripe fragrant plum, spiced pomegranate, and cigar wrapper with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, intricate, long finish with well-integrated, silky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A fabulously silky Zinfandel that delivers refined elegance in a flashy fruity package.
Sobon Estate 2018 Lubenko Vineyard Zinfandel
92 points
$22
Dark dusty ruby color. Aromas of raspberry compote, pomegranate, cinnamon spiced black tea, and portobella mushrooms with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, stimulating, medium-long licorice and spice drops finish with medium tannins and moderate oak flavor. A spicy, zesty Zinfandel that with be a delightful pairing with cheese.
Oak Farm Vineyards 2018  Zinfandel
92 points
$24
Bright black ruby color. Oaky aromas and flavors of toasted marshmallow, caramel latte, candied bacon, milk chocolate, and berry muffins with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a distinctive, medium-long finish with heavy oak flavor. A rich, oak-centric, voluptuous Zinfandel.
Sobon Estate 2018 Pauls Zinfandel
92 points
$24
Deep purple color. Fruity, inviting aromas and flavors of raspberry tartlet, strawberry-rhubarb pie, cassis preserves, fine cigars, and hints of anise with a round, vibrant, fruity full body and a warming, engaging, medium-long finish displaying overtones of hazelnut creme with moderate oak flavor. A welcoming Zinfandel that’s at once wild and refined.
Monte De Oro 2017 Monte De Oro Vineyard Estate Grown Tempranillo
92 points
$32
Dusty dark garnet color. Inviting aromas and flavors of ripe morello cherries, black olive, leather, espresso, and toasted almonds with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, complex, medium-long finish displaying suggestions of dark chocolate, hints of charcoal, black tea, and oregano with well-integrated, silky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A lovely domestic expression of Tempranillo with great varietal character; complex and balanced this wine will be an interesting conversation starter at the table.
Pedroncelli 2017 Courage-Faloni Vineyard Zinfandel
92 points
$32
Black ruby color. Aromas and flavors of raspberry confection, black plum, pomegranate, vanilla nougat, and cinnamon roll with a lightly tannic, crisp, fruity medium-full body and a hot, subtle, long finish manifesting notes of chocolate with firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. A dense Zinfandel packed with flavor and structure; enjoy this bold wine with red meats now or cellar a few years for a more mature experience.
Oak Farm Vineyards 2017 Raffaele Estate Grown Red Blend Lodi
92 points
$40
Black garnet color. Aromas of red licorice, caramelized mushrooms, dried cranberry, and rooibos tea with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, delightful, medium-long caramel and toasted coconut finish with moderate oak flavor. A dense and fruity Lodi blend with toasty, jammy notes you’ll crave.
Monte De Oro 2017 Simplexity Red Blend Temecula Valley
92 points
$43
Dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of sun dried tomato, dill, green tea, pomegranate, vanilla, and brandied cherry with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, elegant, long finish that shows notes of cola and sarsaparilla with light oak flavor. A juicy, savory Red Blend that will be a hit at the table.
Robert Hall 2018 Cavern Select Red Blend Paso Robles
92 points
$50
Dark deep purple color. Spicy aromas and flavors of blackberry jam, spiced plums, and mulled pomegranate juice with a slightly chewy, vibrant, medium-to-full body and a warming, delightful, medium-long finish with moderate oak flavor. A concentrated, spicy blend that will be a joy at the table.
Akash Winery 2017 Threes Company Temecula Valley
92 points
$63
Dusty ruby black color. Jammy aromas and flavors of blistered berries, pomegranate, milk chocolate covered nuts, and toffee with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, captivating, medium-length finish with light oak flavor. A balanced and berry-centric, juicy Red Blend to pair with a meat and cheese plate.
Sobon Estate 2018 Cougar Hill Zinfandel
91 points
$18
Best Buy
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of ripe raspberry, watermelon, pink peppercorns, caramel, and ginger with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, captivating, medium-long finish revealing shades of suede and tobacco with moderate oak flavor. A palate-pleasing Zinfandel that hits every note.
91 points $18 Best Buy
Grgich Hills 2016 Estate Grown Zinfandel
91 points
$36
Dark dusty ruby color. Aromas of ripe figs, raspberry, cinnamon-raisin swirl toast, and plum pudding with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long hazelnut, bramble, and custard finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A palate-pleasing Zinfandel with great structure, well-integrated oak and flirty style.
Shenandoah Vineyards 2018 Special Reserve Zinfandel
90 points
$12
Best Buy
Dusty garnet color. Inviting aromas and flavors of spiced raspberry tart, compressed watermelon, and plum tart with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a warming, intriguing, medium-length finish with accents of black tea with honey and orange marmalade on toast with chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A charming, toasty Zinfandel with outgoing fruit aromas.
90 points $12 Best Buy
Sobon Estate 2018 Rocky Top Zinfandel
90 points
$18
Best Buy
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of candied cherry, compressed watermelon, herbal tea, and toasty brownies with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a refreshing, medium-long finish with overtones of cinnamon and mint with dusty tannins. A grippy, dusty Zinfandel that will work at the table and beyond.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Alexander Valley Vineyards 2018 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$25
Black ruby color. Earthy aromas and flavors of cherry lozenge, glazed beets, succulent plum, roasted nuts, perfume, barnyard, ginger, and allspice with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a smooth, elegant, long finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. An earthy, complex Cabernet Sauvignon that will be lovely with dry-aged steaks and French cuisine.
Robert Hall 2018 Cavern Select Tempranillo
90 points
$45
Black violet color. Aromas of ripe plum, cola, and black pepper with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a peppery, refreshing, medium-long berry jam-filled dark chocolate, hints of leather, and dried leaves finish with chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A bold, chewy, peppery Tempranillo for beefy entrees.
Akash Winery 2017  Zinfandel
90 points
$53
Rich ruby black color. Inviting aromas of ripe raspberry tart, cocoa powder, hints of mint, and leather with a satiny, lively, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long red peppercorns and sumac finish. A very appealing Zinfandel with a big pop of juicy acidity that keeps you coming back for more.
Intercept 2018 Red Blend Paso Robles
89 points
$19
Black violet color. Aromas and flavors of licorice, ripe strawberry, violets, crushed blackberries, and cinnamon bread pudding with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, delightful, medium-length finish with moderate oak flavor. A vibrant, youthful Red Blend with big tannins; try with grilled lamb or squash dishes.
Pedroncelli 2017 Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel
89 points
$26
Black violet color. Aromas and flavors of plum, dried figs and dates, black pepper, wet leaves, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice with a tannic, lively, fruity medium-full body and a hot, engaging, medium-long finish with drying, medium tannins and moderate oak flavor. A dense, almost Port-style Zinfandel with bold structure and spicy flavors.
Narmada Winery 2017 Mélange Red Blend Virginia
89 points
$40
Dark black ruby color. Funky aromas and flavors of forest berries, strawberry preserves, cola, espresso beans, barnyard, potpouri, and nut-studded nougat in white chocolate with a velvety, crisp, fruity medium body and a sleek, complex, long finish with well-integrated, silky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A funky-but-refined Virginia red that will pair well with rich holiday meals.
Sobon Estate 2018 Old Vine Zinfandel
88 points
$14
Best Buy
Dusty black ruby color. Dusty aromas of dried strawberry and plum, cinnamon, ground ginger, and dill with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, intriguing, medium-to-long raspberry pavlova finish with a suggestion of oak flavor. A dusty, understated Zin.
88 points $14 Best Buy
Pedroncelli 2018 Mother Clone Zinfandel
88 points
$19
Black ruby color. Aromas of berries in oats, potpourri, wax, hoisin sauce, toasted cranberry muffin, and smoke with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a tingling, refreshing, medium-length dark chocolate finish with moderate oak flavor. A rich chewy Zinfandel with big flavor and a smoky edge.
Oak Farm Vineyards 2019 Tievoli Red Blend Lodi
88 points
$22
Violet color. Smoky aromas and flavors of bacon-wrapped dates, white chocolate-dipped smoked plums, mocha latte, and salted caramel with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, delightful, medium-length finish that shows shades of rosemary with heavy oak flavor. A fruity, smoky, oaky red with distinctive style; fun to pair.
Sobon Estate 2018 ReZerve® Primitivo
88 points
$24
Dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of grilled cherry, wild raspberry, compressed watermelon, graphite, chocolate-covered caramels, and hints of peach with a round, lively, fruity medium body and a warming, delightful, medium-long finish with overtones of strawberry-rhubarb compote and coconut with a suggestion of oak flavor. A round, warming Primitivo for Zin heads.
Monte De Oro 2016 Estate Grown Zinfandel
88 points
$44
Black garnet color. Earthy aromas and flavors of fallen leaves, barnyard, raspberry lambic, and sun dried tomatoes with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-long finish with notes of fruit and nut press with well-integrated, medium tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A funky Zinfandel that thinks outside the box; enjoy with rustic European fare.
Barefoot NV Rich Red Blend California
87 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Black violet color. Aromas of mixed berry jam, cola, cigar wrapper, pomegranate juice, and red and black licorice with a supple, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a easy root beer and chocolate soft serve finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A quaffable red for effortless sipping.
87 points $6.99 Best Buy
ONE LEAF 2018  Zinfandel
87 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Dark ruby garnet color. Aromas and flavors of wild raspberry, thyme, and carob with a satiny, crisp, light body and a warming, relaxed finish with suggestions of raspberry jam and toast with moderate oak flavor. A juicy jammy Zin for weeknight pleasure.
87 points $9.99 Best Buy
Sobon Estate 2018  Barbera
87 points
$17
Dusty ruby color. Aromas of butterscotch, milk chocolate, brandied cherry, roasted dates, hints of cured meats, and lingonberry jam with a round, vibrant, fruity medium body and a seamless, delightful, medium-long coconut and candied fennel seed finish. A silky, luscious Barbera with earthy undertones.
Shenandoah Vineyards 2018 ReZerve® Barbera
87 points
$24
Black violet color. Inviting aromas of black plum, palo santo, licorice, eucalyptus-mint tea, and honey with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long shortbread finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. An atypically full-bodied Barbera with rich notes of plum and herbs.
Robert Hall 2018 Cavern Select Dusi Vineyard Zinfandel
87 points
$45
Ruby black color. Aromas of ripe cherry, hints of espresso bean, cacao nib, and vanilla bean with a tannic, lively, fruity medium-full body and a warming, captivating, medium-length blackberry fruit leather, cranberry, ground spices, and black tea finish with grippy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A firm but fruity Zinfandel that may benefit from cellar time.
Manifesto! 2018  Zinfandel
86 points
$12
Best Buy
Dusty violet color. Aromas of strawberry candies, whipped cream, and vanilla custard with a supple, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length chocolate biscuit finish with heavy oak flavor. A creamy Zinfandel shrouded in vanilla-centric oak.
86 points $12 Best Buy
7 Deadly Wines 2017 7 Deadly Zins Zinfandel
86 points
$15
Best Buy
Black violet color. Aromas and flavors of prunes, dried berries, carrot cake, and hickory chips with a round, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, engaging, medium-long finish that presents elements of raspberry cobbler and chocolate fudge with heavy oak flavor. A rich and concentrated Lodi Zin that packs a punch.
86 points $15 Best Buy
Small Hours 2017  Zinfandel
86 points
$19
Dark dusty ruby color. Aromas of wild strawberry, fresh raspberry, cedar, chocolate wafer cookies, toasted almonds, and shortbread with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity medium-full body and a warming, very complex, very long tobacco and pink peppercorns finish with well-integrated, medium tannins and heavy oak flavor. Rich fruit, toasty tobacco-like oak, a big pop of acidity are sure to please.
Alexander Valley Vineyards 2017 Sin Zin Zinfandel
86 points
$20
Dark dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of pickled cranberry, sour cherries, raspberry, honey roasted pine nuts, and wild mint with a velvety, vibrant, medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, long finish with touches of candied yams and crystallized ginger with light oak flavor. Fruity, juicy Zinfandel that plays all the notes.
Oak Farm Vineyards 2018  Barbera
86 points
$24
Black violet color. Aromas of frosted Cheerios, apple cake, mole, black olive, and stewed plum with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, compelling, medium-length ruby red grapefruit and pink peppercorns finish with moderate oak flavor. A bold Barbera with rich fruit notes and savory components.
Narmada Winery 2017 Yash-Vir Red Blend Virginia
86 points
$50
Dusty black ruby color. Oaky aromas and flavors of cream puff, cinnamon-sugar dusted cookies, mulling spices, pomegranate, and soy-glazed nuts with a slightly chewy, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long finish that shows elements of walnut muffins and blackberry preserves with heavy oak flavor. A rich, decadently oaky Bordeaux Varietal Blend from Virginia.
Barefoot NV  Zinfandel
85 points
$6.99
Ruby black color. Jammy aromas of raspberry compote, honeycomb, chocolate sauce, and cigar wrapper with a round, bright, fruity medium body and a warming, medium-length toasted Hawaiian rolls, cherry jam, and hoisin sauce finish with moderate oak flavor. A jammy Zin that will certainly satisfy lovers of the style.
85 points $6.99
Kwaya Cellars 2019 Organic Sangiovese
85 points
$16
Dusty deep purple color. Aromas of dark roasted agave, grappa, singed chocolate, dried apricot, and burnt orange with a slightly chewy, crisp, medium body and a warming, interesting, agreeable carob in cream, sun dried tomato, and pretzels finish with chewy tannins and heavy oak flavor. A funky, atypical Sangiovese for the table.
Exitus 2017 Red Blend California
85 points
$19
Dusty garnet color. Aromas of cherry cola, cedar shavings, licorice, and green tea with a chewy, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, medium-length toasted brioche with apple butter and crushed nuts finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A chewy, nutty Red Blend for weeknight indulging.
Line 39 2017 Excursion Red Blend California
84 points
$10
Deep purple color. Jammy aromas of chocolate-covered raisins, caramel, savory spices, and hints of mint-chocolate with a supple, bright, fruity medium body and a tingling, relaxed plum preserves and baking spices finish with medium tannins and moderate oak flavor. An easy-drinking Red Blend with soft fruit flavor.
Frey 2018 Organic Sangiovese
84 points
$15
Dark dusty violet color. Spicy aromas of huckleberry, overripe peach, dried grasses, gingerbread, and black pepper with a chewy, bright, dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, quick plum and ink finish with moderate oak flavor. A dry, bracing Sangiovese for meaty meals.
St. Clair Winery 2018 Cab-Zin New Mexico
84 points
$15
Brick red color. Interesting aromas and flavors of watermelon and cucumber salad, fresh herbs, and cranberry with a bright, fruity light body and a sleek, medium-length finish with a suggestion of oak flavor. A fruity, light-bodied Red Blend to serve in warm weather with a slight chill.
Danenberger Family Vineyards NV 1970 Red Blend American
84 points
$28
Black violet color. Pungent, earthy aromas and flavors of grilled berries, pickled plums, tomatillo, apple cake, and barnyard with a slightly chewy, shrill, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, medium-length finish revealing notes of chocolate drizzled with balsamic vinegar with moderate oak flavor. A mature red for the winter table.
Love Noir 2017 Satin Red Blend California
83 points
$15
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of blackberry jam, raspberry crumble bar, and hints of rosemary with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a smooth, breezy finish with light oak flavor. A bold, jammy blend for casual indulging.
Danenberger Family Vineyards 2018 Coup De Foudre Red Blend Zinfandel
83 points
$28
Dusty deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of raisins, honey-roasted nuts, and chocolate chips with a satiny, crisp, off-dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, medium-length finish with notes of toast with jam with light oak flavor. A Port-like Red Blend for easy sipping.
Oak Farm Vineyards 2019 Estate Grown Primitivo
83 points
$35
Black violet color. Vegetal aromas and flavors of tinned asparagus, sun dried plum, black pepper, and tobacco smoke with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length finish that shows notes of pickled tomato with earthy tannins. A funky, vegetal wine for creative pairing.
Pedroncelli 2018 Alto Vineyards Sangiovese
82 points
$18
Dusty ruby color. Aromas of cherry, wood shavings, and wet branches with a tannic, crisp, medium body and a seamless, brisk cranberry sauce on crackers and parchment finish with coarse tannins and moderate oak flavor. A chewy red for the table.
Wildwood Oak Winery 2018 Best of Abba Red Blend Lodi
80 points
$35
Dusty violet color. Overripe aromas and flavors of raisins in bread pudding, madeira cake, and banana bread with a slightly chewy, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and a smooth, medium-length finish with accents of prunes with moderate oak flavor. A chewy Red Blend with heavy notes of ripe and dried fruit.
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