An opaque core with a red amethyst rim, the wine opens with ripe raspberry and blackberry, dark plum preserves and hints of black pepper and clove. An entry of heft, the palate is packed with blueberry and sweet black cherry along with a touch of fresh herbs – thyme, savory and tarragon. Long on the finish, the ripe tannins, a dash of ash, and notes of black tea round out the wine
Particularly in the US and Puglia (S. Italy), Zinfandel is a hugely popular grape whose wine is delicious on its own and even more compelling with food. But what makes this variety interesting? Did you know …
- Zinfandel is California’s #4 produced grape by volume behind Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir, but in front of Merlot. In fact, many consider Zinfandel California’s signature grape particularly given that many vineyards include “old vine” Zin in excess of 100 years-old
- Known as Primitivo in Italy, Zinfandel’s bunches in Puglia are looser with smaller berries than in California which accordingly provides greater disease resistance
- Zinfandel can be challenging to produce as it is prone to uneven ripening such that bunches often contain ripe AND underripe fruit making sorting very important. In addition, it buds early (risk from spring frost), is prone to drought, and can exhibit poor flowering and fruit set in rainy or humid years
- When done right, Zinfandel can exhibit a range of juicy red and black fruit notes (raspberry, blackberry, blueberry), have an affinity for oak (vanilla, cinnamon, toasty, mocha), and delivers medium+ intensity fine grained tannins, medium+ acidity, medium+ to full body, and high alcohol. Yum!