Full Review

Opaque

Opaque
2017 Zinfandel, Paso Robles

Pair this wine with:
Beef Vegetables

Category: Zinfandel

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 14.9% RS: <1%
92 Points
Gold Medal
Exceptional
$40

Opaque
2017 Zinfandel, Paso Robles

Pair this wine with:
Beef Vegetables

Category: Zinfandel

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 14.9% RS: <1%
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of flourless chocolate cake, compressed watermelon, root beer, and vanilla creme with a round, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish with elements of blackberry jam, chai latte, and graham crackers with moderate oak flavor. A rich and satisfying Zinfandel that pleases with creamy oak.

Tasting Info

Wine Glass Style: Fruity, Juicy & Smooth & Rich & Full
Aroma Aroma: flourless chocolate cake, compressed watermelon, root beer, and vanilla creme
Taste Flavor: Same as aromas with elements of blackberry jam, chai latte, and graham crackers
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 rich and satisfying Zinfandel that pleases with creamy oak.

The Producer or Importer

Riboli Family Wines

The Producer or  Importer
737 Lamar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90031
USA
1 323-2238832

Their Portfolio

90 Highlands 41 2016 Estate Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 14.5% (USA) $25.00.
BR Highlands 41 2017 Estate Reserve, Chardonnay, Monterey County 14.9% (USA) $25.00. - Bronze Medal
88 Highlands 41 2019 Estate, Chardonnay, Monterey County 14.5% (USA) $16.00.
88 Highlands 41 2019 Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 14.5% (USA) $15.00.
BR Juicy NV Semi-Sweet Sparkle Strawberry Flavored Wine, Italy 6.5% (Italy) $16.00. - Bronze Medal
BR Juicy NV Semi-Sweet Sparkle Blueberry Flavored Wine, Italy 6.5% (Italy) $16.00. - Bronze Medal
89 Maddalena 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 14.5% (USA) $24.00.
BR Maddalena 2018 Estate Reserve, Pinot Grigio, Monterey 13.9% (USA) $20.00. - Bronze Medal
89 Maddalena 2017 Estate Reserve, Chardonnay, Monterey 14.9% (USA) $20.00.
93 Maddalena 2017 Chardonnay, Monterey 14.5% (USA) $20.00.
88 Maddalena 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 14.5% (USA) $25.00.
92 Maddalena 2018 Zinfandel, Paso Robles 14.9% (USA) $25.00.
88 Maddalena 2020 Estate, Pinot Grigio, Monterey 13.9% (USA) $16.00.
88 Maddalena 2019 Estate, Chardonnay, Monterey 14.9% (USA) $18.00.
90 Opaque 2015 Malbec, Paso Robles 14.5% (USA) $36.00.
93 Opaque 2015 Petit Verdot, Paso Robles 14.9% (USA) $36.00.
90 Opaque 2016 Malbec, Paso Robles 14.9% (USA) $40.00.
90 Opaque 2016 Petit Verdot, Paso Robles 13.9% (USA) $40.00.
92 Opaque 2017 Zinfandel, Paso Robles 14.9% (USA) $40.00.
92 Opaque 2017 Darkness, Zinfandel, Paso Robles 14.5% (USA) $40.00.
BR San Antonio NV Cardinale American Sweet Red, Paso Robles 11.5% (USA) $14.00. - Bronze Medal
BR San Antonio NV Villadoro, White Moscato, Paso Robles 12% (USA) $14.00. - Bronze Medal
86 San Antonio NV Semi-Sweet Imperial Red, Paso Robles 12% (USA) $14.00.
BR San Antonio Fruit Farm NV Semi-Sweet Strawberry Guava Flavored Wine, Italy 6% (Italy) $16.00. - Bronze Medal
86 San Antonio Fruit Farm NV Semi-Sweet Blackberry Orange Flavored Wine, Italy 6% (Italy) $16.00.
90 San Antonio Fruit Farm NV Semi-Sweet Peach Passion Fruit Flavored Wine, Italy 6% (Italy) $16.00.
95 San Simeon 2015 Estate Reserve, Petite Sirah, Paso Robles 14.5% (USA) $28.00.
93 San Simeon 2016 Estate Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 14.1% (USA) $35.00.
93 San Simeon 2017 Estate Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 14.5% (USA) $35.00.
92 San Simeon 2017 Chardonnay, Monterey 14.5% (USA) $25.00.
88 San Simeon 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 14.8% (USA) $25.00.
93 San Simeon 2018 Pinot Noir, Monterey 14.9% (USA) $30.00.
92 San Simeon 2018 Viognier, Paso Robles 14.9% (USA) $25.00.
87 San Simeon 2016 Petite Sirah, Paso Robles 14.9% (USA) $30.00.
92 San Simeon 2017 Syrah, Paso Robles 14.9% (USA) $30.00.
88 San Simeon 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 14.5% (USA) $35.00.
91 San Simeon 2017 Chardonnay, Monterey 14.9% (USA) $25.00.
94 San Simeon 2016 Stormwatch, Paso Robles 14.5% (USA) $90.00.
BR Santo NV Rosé Vino Frizzante, Italy 11% (Italy) $7.00. - Bronze Medal
90 Stella Rosa NV Imperiale, Prosecco DOC 11% (Italy) $25.00.
BR Stella Rosa NV Blueberry Flavored Wine, Italy 5% (Italy) $12.00. - Bronze Medal
BR Stella Rosa NV Pineapple Flavored Wine, Italy 5% (Italy) $12.00. - Bronze Medal
BR Stella Rosa NV Ruby Rosé Grapefruit Flavored Wine, Italy 5% (Italy) $12.00. - Bronze Medal
86 Stella Rosa NV Watermelon Flavored Wine, Italy 5% (Italy) $12.00.
BR Stella Rosa NV Semi-Sweet Rosé, Italy 6.5% (Italy) $14.00. - Bronze Medal
85 Stella Rosa NV Green Apple Flavored Wine, Italy 5% (Italy) $12.00.
89 Stella Rosa 2020 Rosé, Prosecco di Treviso DOC 11% (Italy) $18.00.
90 Stella Rosa NV Moscato, Asti DOCG 6.5% (Italy) $18.00.
89 Stella Rosa 2020 Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 12% (Italy) $12.00.
BR Stella Rosa NV Blackberry Flavored Wine, Piedmont 5% (Italy) $12.00. - Bronze Medal
BR Stella Rosa NV Organic Orange Fusion Flavored Wine, Italy 6% (Italy) $16.00. - Bronze Medal
88 Stella Rosa NV Orange Moscato, Fior D’Arancio Colli Euganei DOCG 6% (Italy) $25.00.
BR Stella Rosa NV Black Cherry Flavored Wine, Piedmont 5% (Italy) $16.00. - Bronze Medal
BR Stella Rosa NV Green Apple Flavored Wine, Italy 5.5% (Italy) $16.00. - Bronze Medal
BR Stella Rosa NV Organic Orange Fusion Flavored Wine, Italy 6% (Italy) $16.00. - Bronze Medal
88 Stella Rosa NV Ruby Rose Grapefruit Flavored Wine, Italy 5% (Italy) $16.00.
BR Stella Rosa NV Watermelon Flavored Wine, Italy 5% (Italy) $16.00. - Bronze Medal
BR Stella Rosa NV Lemon Lime Flavored Wine, Italy 5.5% (Italy) $16.00. - Bronze Medal
BR Stella Rosa NV Blueberry Flavored Wine, Italy 5.5% (Italy) $16.00. - Bronze Medal
89 Stella Rosa NV Semi-Sweet Berry Flavored Wine, Italy 8% (Italy) $16.00.
91 Windstream 2018 Sarmento Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands 15.1% (USA) $40.00.
90 Windstream 2017 Sarmento Vineyard, Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands 15.1% (USA) $30.00.

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."