Wine Talk

Snooth User: jamessulis

Old Vine Zinfandels

Posted by jamessulis, Jan 14, 2014.

After tasting about 6 different Old vine zinfandels within the last 6 months, I am absolutely convinced that this varietal is up to par with my taste buds. I am devoted mainly to Cabernet Sauvignon's and sometimes stray into other varietals, both red and white. Today I popped the top (incidentally do you realize that you can take the entire top portion of the foil off in one piece to get at the cork by holding the bottle and twisting the entire expanse of the foil? I learned this by accident today proving you're never too old to learn a new trick !!) Back to the Zinfandels. I feel so strongly about Old vine Zins that it prompted me to make a post (I have been lax for the last 4 months). If you are looking for some deep intense concentrated, compacted dark fruit flavors, try Oak Ridge Ancient Vine Zinfandel (2011). It's exceptionally nice for under $12 dollars a bottle.


Reply by EMark, Jan 15, 2014.

Lefty, I am familiar with the Oak Ridge offering.  I first tried it, maybe, three years ago and have kept going back.  In all honesty the 2011 version was the first one that disappointed me.  Of course, for the price, how disappointed can you be?  I still liked it, just not as much as previous years.

In a different Forum conversation I posted this picture, yesterday, of five Zinfandels that I bought at the Galleano Winery in the Cucamonga Valley.


All of these are from the Galleano Vineyard (planted in the 1920s), although, one of them also contains fruit (20%) from the Lopez Vineyard (planted in the 1910s).  Both these vineyards are dry farmed (and we ain't getting much rain at all here, lately).  I tasted all of these at the winery, yesterday, and there are remarkable differences between them--all seem to have serious minerality, and the fruit sensation varies from practically none to moderate.  In all honesty I really did not think any of these were particularly outstanding, but my tasting room "cred" is very suspect.  So, I like to buy bottles of things that I may not particularly like to see if my opinion changes when I'm in a different environment--i.e., in the quiet of my own tent.  It works both ways.  I have had occasions where I have loved a wine in the tasting room but, when I try it at home, cannot understood why I had such a high opinion originally. 

A few months ago, GDP had an article on Zinfandels, and he gave a very positive review of the 2011 Carol Shelton that was sourced from the Lopez Vineyard.  I have been looking for that one, but have not stumbled onto it, yet.

Old friend Outthere has written on numerous occasions about the Historic Vineyard Society.  I learned about the Galleano and Lopez vineyards by visiting their web site.  The vineyards listed there have different types of grapes planted, but the vast majority are Zinfandel-heavy if not Zinfandel exclusive.  Some of the moving forces behind the Historic Vineyard Society are winemakers or owners of Bedrock, Cline, and Turley.  Those three are very well respected Zinfandel makers that you might want to check out.

I hope you find new discoveries and come back to tell us about them.

Reply by jamessulis, Jan 16, 2014.

Thanks for the tip Emark

Checked into Carol Shelton ov zin wild thing. Wine & More a west coast massive retailer has it listed as $16.49 and boasts that Wine Spectator gives it a 90 Rating. Bev Mo also lists it but is asking $25.99, quite a difference eh?

Will pick up a bottle next wine trip to Wine & More in a month or two as I just stocked up last week to fill the remaining slots in my wine rack.

Thanks again,


Reply by dvogler, Jan 16, 2014.


That's the beauty of wine!  Just when I think I'm in a rut, I fall in love with something else.  I probably had it before, but for some reason it grabs me more.  It's great and I have a good buddy who is infinitely more knowledgeable than I am who occasionally guides me to other things.  He recently told a mutual friend with whom we were speaking of current wine likes, that I was "less recalcitrant" than I was a couple years ago!

I like Zins and for some reason, I haven't been drinking them lately.  A friend of mine's cousin owns Hendry in Napa and they make lots of zinfandel, very nice (pricey in Canada though).

oh, I get about 50/50 on the full-pull of the capsule...I always try as it gets me to the contents faster.

Reply by EMark, Jan 17, 2014.

Lefty, I'm going to go back to my old reliable.  Did you mean Total Wine & More?  I am very familiar with them and prefer them to BevMo.  For a few bucks more (around $27, I think) look for the 2011 Ridge Lytton Springs--there was one bottle on the shelf when I was there a few weeks ago.  Lytton Springs is another of the Historic Vineyards.  I have been enjoying Lytton Springs wines for about 30 years.  The 2011 is outstanding.  It is a field blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Carignane.  Interestingly, the 2011 version has 82% Zinfandel which is sufficient content (>75%) to be labeled as a Zinfandel varietal wine.

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