The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2011

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Page 38 of 124

MILESTONES Zin Fans Unite! I by Christopher Sawyer n late January, Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) celebrated the organization’s 20-year anniversary in San Francisco. Highlights of the three- day event included Good Eats & Zinfandel Pairings featuring cooking sensation Nadia G of the Cooking Channel series Bitchin’ Kitchen; Flights!, an educational tasting following the legacy of historic vineyards; a fashionable 1920s-style Evening with the Winemakers, a benefit auction and dinner held at the Westin St. Francis Hotel; and the annual Grand Tasting, featuring over 400 wines, a silent auction and intimate Winemaker’s Workshops. For more information about the festival and other upcoming ZAP events, visit Sommelier Christopher Sawyer’s Top Appellation Selections at the ZAP 2011 Grand Tasting Scott Harvey Wines 2007 Vineyard 1869, Amador County ($45) From America’s oldest documented Zinfandel vineyard. Deep flavors of ripe rasp- berry, black currants, clove, black pep- per, and fresh roasted espresso beans. In Scott Harvey’s words, “Old-vine complexity with first-growth quality!” Four Vines 2008 Biker Zin, Paso Robles ($25) Big, bold, in-your-face combo of ripe fruit from the low-yield- ing Dusi and Preston vineyards. Flavors of briary blackberry, allspice, black licorice and vanilla. An intense wine with plenty of old-vine attitude! Cline 2008 Big Break, Contra Costa County ($25) Classic Contra Costa aromas of bright red fruit wrapped in eucalyptus and bay leaves. Succulent flavors of ripe boysenberry, raspberry coulis and savory spices. Joel Gott 2008 Mohr-Fry Ranch, Lodi ($25) Old vineyard planted at the Mohr-Fry Ranches in the 1940s with a small dollop of Alicante Bouschet planted in the 1920s. Dense wine with opulent flavors of ripe plum, black cherry, cocoa and earth; smooth mouthfeel and balanced tannins. The St. Amant 2009 from the same vineyard is stunning as well. Robert Biale 2009 Black Chicken, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley ($40) Bright and juicy new release. On the palate, lavish flavors of ripe blackberry, cherry cola, allspice, cardamom; plenty of structure and generous silky mouthfeel. Seghesio 2009 Sonoma County ($24) Spirited young version of the Seghesio’s blue label wine made with fruit from vineyards sites averaging 25 to 45 years old. Sophisticated flavors of sweet red fruit, wild-berry compote, fresh anise, black pepper, baking spice, and zesty acidity on the finish. 38 / the tasting panel / april 201 1 Dashe 2008 Todd Brothers Ranch, Alexander Valley ($24) Old-vine Zinfandel with a splash of Petite Sirah. Enticing floral notes and rich flavors of blackberry, boysenberry and baking chocolate. Boo Berry meets Count Chocula in liquid form! Rosenblum 2008 Rockpile Road Vineyard, Rockpile ($40) Aromas of coffee grounds, tobacco and hickory smoke. Rich flavors of sweet black cherry, blackberry, blood orange rind, vanilla, black pepper and layers of spice. Rustic and proud! Acorn 2008 Heritage Vines, Alegria Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($32) Memorable field blend of Zinfandel, Alicante Bouschet, Petite Sirah and a multitude of other grape varieties. Plump flavors of ripe red fruit, plum, briary blackberry and a hint of nectarine core. Smooth texture, vibrant acidity and long lingering finish. Ravenswood 2008 Teldeschi Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley ($35) New single-vineyard release with aromatic notes of blackberry, licorice, cinnamon and vanilla. Bold flavors of black cherry, ripe plum, and black pepper. Smaller amounts of Petite Sirah and Carignane used in the blend to add more complexity to the finished wine. ZAP TURNS 20 PHOTO: WAYDE CARROLL

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