Wine Talk

Snooth User: Niles

Looking for the best Red Zin

Posted by Niles, Oct 1, 2008.

Suggestions for the best Red Zin you had and that's still available to purchase on line would be appreciated.
Niles

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Replies

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 1, 2008.

Hi Niles,

Now that's a broad question. I have some favorite producers for sure but the style are all so different.

Carlisle, though tough to find, are tops in my book; http://www.snooth.com/wines/carlisl...

Ridge is famous for their long line of great zins; http://www.snooth.com/wines/ridge+z...

Sobon makes very well crafted examples : http://www.snooth.com/wines/sobon+z...

If you could narrow down the question to a price range and stylistic preference, big, HUGE, elegant, etc I'm sure I could give more specific recommendations!

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Reply by oceank8, Oct 1, 2008.

I was just talking to Corina about this. I really got into zins when I went to the Russian River Valley, they have a lot of great ones! Unfortunately, I don't have the specifics because I wasn't logging everything into snooth back then. Some other favorites are "Layer Cake Primitivo," "Imagine Zinfandel," and "B.R. Cohn Sonoma Valley Zinfandel."

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Reply by Philip James, Oct 1, 2008.

OK, I'm actually drinking this now: http://www.snooth.com/wine/tiera-zi...

Not the best zin, but a pretty tasty one - lots of fruit but not over ripe and cough syrupy. Decent stuff

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 2, 2008.

Sonoma is prime Zin country. The Dry Creek Valley is particularly esteemed for the balanced, dusty fruit of their Zins. Another great region for Zin is Amador County. I hope to put together a tasting featuring Zinfandel in the near future. As one of Americas almost "indigenous" grapes it should get more attention and as one of my New World favorites it will!

Interestingly while Primitivo and Zin are very close cousins it appears that, counter-intuitively, Primitivo is actualy a US export. I'ld have to check my notes but Primitivo first appeared in Italy long after it had established itself as a hearty and prolific producer on the West Coast.

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Reply by Philip James, Oct 2, 2008.

Greg - Ive heard so many conflicting things about the ancestry and relation between Zin and Primitivo. I used to think that Zin comes from Primitivo, and that they had Italian origins, but I read recently that Primitivo is originally from Serbia or Croatia. Its like Carmemer / Merlot - I honestly dont think the records are accurate enough to answer these questions without doubt.

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Reply by Adam Levin, Oct 2, 2008.

Greg, I second your opinion on Amador. One of my favorite Zin producers out there is Bill Easton http://www.snooth.com/wines/easton+zin/

If you want to try something on the absurd side of the big Zin spectrum, I would recommend picking up a bottle of Turley Zin. They are expensive but definitely worth trying. http://www.snooth.com/wines/turley+zin/. Just one word of advice would be to drink them somewhere near your bed as they are really high in alcohol (17% wouldn't surprise me).

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 2, 2008.

Dr. Carole Meredith at UC Davis did genetic fingerprinting of Primitivo and Zinfandel and found that while they are identical to the accuracy of the test, that they are not synonymous. All the evidence points to Primitivo being an offspring of Zinfandel as cultivated in California, which may or may not mean that it was planted first in the US but it did show up on the east coast around 1830 while the first mention of it in Italy wasn't until around 1865. It is of course possible that the earliest primitivo cuttings came from the same genetic family that supplied the American specimens.

The parent of both grapes is indeed the Croatian Variety Crljenak Kastelanski but we are very lucky indeed that somewhere along the way it was mis/renamed! I don't know how many of us would be out there looking for a bottle of Dry Creek Valley Crljenak Kastelanski to have with dinner tonight!

Turley Zins are not my cup of tea for the reasons you mention Adam but if you every find a bottle of their Charbono or Petit Sirah don't pass it by. The do a great job with these obscure grapes and the wines generally have much better balance.

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Reply by Pymonte, Oct 4, 2008.

I"m surprised nobody has mentioned Cline. A wide selection of Zins, the cheapest of which is around $15 per bottle but there are much higher priced ones as well, all of very good quality, as would be suggested by the continuous high ratings here.

http://www.snooth.com/wines/cline/#...

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Reply by Collette, Oct 4, 2008.

I agree with Pymonte. Cline's Old Vine Zin is wonderful.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 6, 2008.

Absolutely Cline makes a solid portfolio and if you're looking for something just a bit different don't over-look their small berry Mourvedre. Styled like a Zin but with a slightly different profile it's a delicious wine!

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Reply by Philip James, Oct 6, 2008.

This is my fave Zin for $20: http://www.snooth.com/wine/ridge-th...

Its a blend, but Zin predominates. Very very rich and fruity - be ware if thats not your thing.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 6, 2008.

Man some of the Ridge zins from he past are legendary. The 87 Geyserville, also a field blend, was one of the best Zins ever. I have been a big fan of the Ridge Zins and am planning an event for early next year that will focus on the wine from about 1979 through 1994 with verticals of Lytton Springs, Howell Mountain, and Geyserville! I can't wait.

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Reply by Corina, Oct 6, 2008.

I agree with Philip on the Zin. I also really like this Zin - currently one of my favorites: http://www.snooth.com/wine/lake-son...

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Reply by Philip James, Oct 6, 2008.

Not a zin, but the big brother of the Three Ridges is this other wine by the same producers: http://www.snooth.com/wine/ridge-vi...

Its 3 or 4 times the cost, but man, what a beautiful wine...

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Reply by mfriedensohn, Oct 6, 2008.

Seghesio Rockpile Creek Zin is to die for!

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 7, 2008.

Rockpile is a great vineyard. Love the Petit from http://www.snooth.com/wines/rosenbl... but the http://www.snooth.com/wines/Maurits... is even better!

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Reply by Adam Levin, Oct 10, 2008.

Rockpile wines are definitely awesome. Check out the history lesson on Mauritson's site: http://www.mauritsonwines.com/farmi...

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Reply by IT Gal, Oct 14, 2008.

Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel, made from real old vines (80 -120 years)... rich, succulent, a real zin-lover's zin!

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 14, 2008.

Hey ITgal,

Great Zins from one of the best sources. Tough to beat old vine Dry Creek Zins but they are getting tougher to find! Something like the http://www.snooth.com/wine/heritage... would be a great place to start though!

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Reply by DCVPR Guy, Oct 14, 2008.

The 2006 vintage is maybe one of the best for Zinfandel in the past 10 years - especially in the Dry Creek Valley. Rich flavors with great fruit character but without the pruny or rasiny characters that can make so many Zins taste like Port instead of Zin. The producers who got it right made really well balanced wines.

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