ZAP: Forum of Flavors

Three fascinating expressions of Zinfandel


I was fortunate to be able to attends last weeks ZAP Experience. As you might know this year’s event differed from those in years past as the event was broken down into additional components.  The trade and media portion of the Experience is now a discreet tasting, and the grand tasting has been broken out into sections, that took place on the grounds of the Presidio.

One element of the event that has remained mostly the same, though perhaps even larger than in years past was the Flights tasting, this year focusing on the terroir of three distinct vineyards. The Forum of Flavors tasting was an excellent introduction to these vineyard through the wines and words of many of the most important producers of Zinfandel. Blessed with a rotating panel of winemakers providing the background for each wine during the tasting, and fascinating insights into the wines and the vineyards, it was a unique opportunity to dive deeply into the terroir of Zinfandel. As I have written before, I believe Zinfandel is capable of expressing terroir as well or better than any other variety grown in California and today's tasting did nothing to dispel that notion.
While spread over some two and a half hours, this Forum of Flavor event was an incredibly dense look at the wines, and as such kept me exceptionally busy as I tried to keep up with the commentary. I’ve included my notes on each wine here, along with as much of the commentary from the winemakers as I was able to record. Please forgive the rather raw quality to the commentary as I have tried to record each participant’s comments without adding anything. I’ve also included a  limited impression for each vineyard based on my tasting of the wines. 

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