Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Value Zinfandels

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Cougars Leap Black Rock Cuvee Zinfandel Red Hills Lake County (2010)
Comments: Floral and spicy oak aromas top a nice base of peppery pastrami-like meatiness. This is fairly tight in the mouth and needs a little time to tame the lightly aggressive tannins. Dark, jammy strawberry fruit and lovely spice notes emerge on the mid-palate followed by layered vanilla, black raspberry fruit, and French oak spice on end of moderately long, moderately tannic finish. A little atypical, but I really like this. 90 points
Previously available for $20.00
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2 Easton Zinfandel Amador County (2011)
Comments: Nice and precise on the nose, with slightly herbal, chaparral brush and edgy, wild berry fruit aromas. In the mouth there are lovely herbal shadings to the core of dark cherry fruit. This is smooth and supple, with nice soft tannins and integrated acidity, and while it does turn just a little jammy on the finish, it’s a very happy wine. 90 points
Average price: $14.98 from 1 store
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3 Quivira Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley (2010)
Comments: Smoky, burning chaparral top notes greet the nose followed by subtle toasting Middle Eastern spice notes over red berry fruit. There’s a little pine-like note adding freshness on the light and zesty entry, which is followed by rich blackberry fruit that's a little tight and earthy with a nice briary edge. 89 points
Average price: $26.67 from 1 store
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4 Jaxon Keys Zinfandel Etta's Block (2010)
Comments: Dark, oily and extracted on the nose with floral top notes and oily seed aromas,. The nose does offer up some fine fresh perfumes of wild fruit. On the palate there’s an early rush of blackberry fruit in a lighter style, decidedly medium body with lovely bright fruit, zesty berry flavors and fine tannins that lead to a moderately long finish. 88 points
Previously available for $20.00
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5 Pedroncelli Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Mother Clone (2010)
Comments: Very pretty, and very Dry Creek Valley, with lovely, nice briary fruit that’s full of crushed raspberry and wild cherry nuances. A little plump and easy going, but varietally spot-on with fairly deep Zin berry fruit, good acidity that accents tart cherry flavors on the back end, and a little tannic bite on the modest finish. Also a bit four-square perhaps, but this checks all the boxes. 87 points
Average price: $13.99 from 1 store
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6 Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Pedroni-Bushnell Vineyard (2009)
Comments: With a nose that’s a bit smoky and oily, this remains attractive with deep, dark berry fruit. Firm in the mouth, if a bit hollow across the mid-palate, this lacks some detail but does offer up a nice, elegant and firm core of black cherry and blackberry fruit that finishes with a bit of dry tannin. A bit old school. 87 points
Previously available for $16.89
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7 Bliss Family Vineyards Brutocao Zinfandel Mendocino (2010)
Comments: Chocolatey and ripe on the nose with vanilla and a little coconut layered over black cherry fruit. This is bright and juicy in the mouth, with layers of blue fruit, raspberry and red currant flavors topped with gentle spice, yielding to a light finish that shows a hint of firmness. 86 points
Previously available for $12.00
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  • 114222bdabride We love the Wilson Zins

  • 362075mfdiva How did the Joel Gott California Zinfandel escape a place on this list? Not only is it extremely well balanced with wonderfully balanced jam and hints of mocha and pepper, but it has a truly elegant style often missing in many Zins. This bottle is my house pour, and a hit every time I bring it to a party.

  • 1178998Melanie S Largeteau Zin 91 from Opici Family Distributing is delicious. Great with barbeque and the price is great too.

  • 999212ErNest Gonzalez Agree about Joel Gott; but Four Vines and Project Paso also come to mind!

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