Full Review

Comartin Cellars

Comartin Cellars
2018 Zinfandel, Lodi

Pair this wine with:
Beef Vegetables

Category: Zinfandel

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 14.8%
89 Points
Silver Medal
Highly Recommended

Comartin Cellars
2018 Zinfandel, Lodi

Pair this wine with:
Beef Vegetables

Category: Zinfandel

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 14.8%
Brick red color. Aromas of black tea with raspberry, caramel on chocolate wafer, and oaken box with a chewy, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-length cherry and radish finish with moderate oak flavor. A supple and straightforward Zinfandel with lingering warmth.

Tasting Info

Wine Glass Style: Fruity & Rich & Full
Aroma Aroma: black tea with raspberry, caramel on chocolate wafer, and oaken box
Taste Flavor: cherry and radish
Sweetness Sweetness: Fruity
Enjoy Enjoy: Now on its own and with food
Recipes Pairing: Pot Roast, Steak & Potatoes, Beef Stew
Bottom Line Bottom Line: A supple and straightforward zinfandel with lingering warmth.

The Producer

Porterhouse Winery

The Producer
2435 Briarwood Dr.
San Jose, CA 95125
1 408-656-1230

Their Portfolio

92 Christeni Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands 14.1% (USA) $45.00.
93 Christeni Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 14.4% (USA) $45.00.
94 Christeni Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 14.8% (USA) $60.00.
89 Christeni Vineyards 2018 Parker McCollum - To Be Loved By You, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 14.4% (USA) $40.00.
91 Christeni Vineyards 2014 Anderson Red Blend, Napa Valley 14.6% (USA) $42.00.
91 Comartin Cellars NV Cuvée Jennifer, Sonoma County 12.5% (USA) $45.00.
89 Comartin Cellars 2018 Zinfandel, Lodi 14.8% (USA) $30.00.
85 Comartin Cellars 2019 Private Reserve, Chardonnay, Monterey 13.4% (USA) $35.00.
94 Comartin Cellars 2018 R-Bar-R Ranch Single Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains 14.2% (USA) $56.00.
92 Comartin Cellars 2018 Cuvée Cassidy, Santa Ynez Valley 14.4% (USA) $44.00.
92 Comartin Cellars 2019 R-Bar-R Ranch, Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 13.9% (USA) $49.00.
93 JDR Wines 2015 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 13.8% (USA) $45.00.
90 JDR Wines 2013 Sonoma Valley 15.5% (USA) $45.00.
94 Porterhouse Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 14.1% (USA) $60.00.
88 Porterhouse Winery 2014 Williams’ Reserve Red Blend , Santa Ynez Valley 14.6% (USA) $45.00.
94 Porterhouse Winery 2015 Pinot Noir, Carneros, Napa Valley 14.4% (USA) $44.00.
92 Porterhouse Winery 2014 Alko Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 14.4% (USA) $85.00.
93 Porterhouse Winery 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 14.4% (USA) $49.00.
94 Porterhouse Winery 2016 Reserve Lot Red Blend, Santa Ynez Valley 14.4% (USA) $60.00.
91 Porterhouse Winery 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley 14.4% (USA) $85.00.
92 Porterhouse Winery 2017 Reserve Black Label Red Blend, Santa Ynez Valley 14.4% (USA) $55.00.


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."