Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Lodi Zinfandel Tasted 4/14

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Turley Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel (2012)
Comments: Fruity on the nose with lovely black berry aromas framed with nuanced cinnamon, allspice, sage, and earth aromas. Open, broad, and expansive in the mouth this shows a gorgeous texture with both power and delicacy in the mouth. The flavors show a bit of herbal edge to the blackberry fruit, as this turns firm and long on the finish. A fairly spicy Zin, this is very complete both texturally and the flavor profile with rich cherry, blackberry fruit on the finish and real purity and drive right through the finish which shows fine firm tannins and real cut. 94pts
Average price: $59.99 from 1 store
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2 Carlisle Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard (2012)
Comments: My 8th place wine and the group’s tied for 5th Creamy oak and cedary fruit greets the nose followed by a fairly complex and elegant array of wild red berry and red currant fruit and a hint of beefiness. Light, with a gentle roundness on the palate, this is fairly elegant with lots of raspberry fruit supported by stiff little tannins and great acids that lend a citrussy tangelo note to the fine finish. Has the feel of an old vine wine. Could use a year to better knit together and shows a whisper of heat on the finish. 89pts
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3 Harney Lane Zinfandel Lodi Old Vine Lizzy James Vineyard (2011)
Comments: Deep, oak framed slightly musky aromas of blackberry, black raspberry and boysenberry greets the nose with hints of hickory nuts and pipe briar along with a nuance of peppercorn adding detail. Bright acids on entry, rather transparent in the mouth with lots of cranberry accented cherry fruit, that turns more toward the blackberry spectrum with vanilla arriving on the midpalate turning a bit peppery on the backend before returning to blackberry fruit on the palate. Complexity with lovely transparency and depth. 91pts
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4 Mettler Family Vineyards Zinfandel Old Vine Epicenter (2011)
Comments: Big crushed berry nose, all boysenberry toned with smoky top notes. A hint of creaminess greets the palate followed by some fine sandalwood and spice notes, then a touch of nutty oak in a big plush style that fills the mouth with pure rich crushed blackberry fruit with hints of juniper and smoked meats on the long, powerful finish. Palate staining, and a powerhouse, Classic Lodi Zin. 90pts
Average price: $17.99 from 1 store
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5 Jeremy Wine Co Old Vine Zinfandel (2012)
Comments: Nice zin berry fruit greets the nose gaining spicy nuance and showing some nicely integrated oak. This is supple with big fruit, soft tannins, and integrated acids in the mouth. The palate is full of blueberry framed blackberry fruit that shows a bit of integrated wood on the backend, and then notes of mineral, pomegranate seeds and wild black cherry fruit on the fairly long finish. Nicely done in a big, seamless style. 90pts
Previously available for $20.00
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6 St. Amant Zinfandel Marian's Vineyard (2012)
Comments: Briary, smoky oak, and complex on the nose with almost a men’s cologne dried floral note layered over subtle fruit aromas. Light on entry, and almost a bit meaty with a hint of woody sweetness early on the palate followed by round, smooth, fresh cherry and raspberry fruit that shows a slightly candied edge. With nice earth and spicy accents leading the finish, which shows a big pop of fruit along with a nice black tea note, this is elegant for its size and cleanses the palate with ripe tannins that linger on the finale. 90pts
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7 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Lodi Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard (2012)
Comments: A bit of stemmy, bright on the nose with a hint of dried straw and some mineral notes accenting the core of spicy, sweet berry/cherry fruit on the nose. Rich and bright in the mouth with a touch of rounding sweetness supporting chocolatey, dried plum and baked blackberry flavors that show hints of peppery spice on juniper on the backend. Big and juicy with lots of jammy raspberries on the finish, this has power and good clarity. 88pts
Previously available for $15.00
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8 Harney Lane Zinfandel Lodi (2011)
Comments: Some sweet charry oak spice and vanilla notes lurks under big blueberry tinged blackberry fruit on the nose with just a hint of blood orange. Plush, broad and yet deep on the palate, with great fruit that has a deep briary core, Grapy with that hint of blood orange on the palate as well. A palate which is packed with jammy blackberry fruit, and chocolate overtones leading to a spicy and somewhat simple finish. This is a pretty big wine, finishing with oaky, creamy, vanilla and butterscotch influence, followed by a hint of balsamic briar, and a cinnamon-sandalwood underlay. You gotta love your oak but if you do this is a wine for you. 88pts
Average price: $16.99 from 1 store
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9 Fields Family Wines Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel (2011)
Comments: Fairly intense aromas of loamy earth, plums, ink and violets greet the nose. This really does have an almost floral extract on the nose. Rich and moderately chewy in the mouth, there are some attractively ripe tannins here supporting flavors that are a bit plummy with hints of of chocolate and lots of Provençal herb accents making this almost Chateauneufy in the mouth. Lots of red berry fruit shows up on the modest finish. Really quite engaging. 88pts
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  • 484000clutchman I have been buying "Campus Oaks" by the Gnekow Family winery for some years. I buy a case about every month. My last purchase was a 2010 - absolutely everything a full bodied Zin should be. Jammy and fruity but with a nice balance. and - just 10.00 bucks a bottle. What a deal.


  • 1319194Snoother 1319194 My favorite Lodi Zin has been Michael & David's "7 Deadly Zins". Big, jammy, some fat cherry sweetness with just enough spice to remind you it's a Cali zin. My favorite vintages were 2006 through 2008; the 2010 wasn't bad either.


  • 1385997winemansteve Check out Adam Mettler's Coup de Grace, 2011. It is a Zin based blend with some Petite Syrah and Cab Franc blended in. Luscious and rich and drinks ridiculously smooth



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