Tasting Report: ZAP Zinfandel Festival 2010

Zinfandel enthusiasts have a… how you say… an interesting reputation.  I’m not sure if it’s the mystique of the wine or the generally heavy alcohol content, but Zin fans are unique among the wine enthusiasts of the world. Judging from some of the costumes at this year’s ZAP Zinfandel Festival (men in hula skirts, home-made Zin-themed dresses),

With some 300 wineries pouring at this event (spread out across two buildings in San Francisco’s sprawling Fort Mason), ZAP is one of the biggest wine events in the world. There’s no way to taste everything (though a lot of locals sure do give it a try), so I tried to focus on the most highly-acclaimed California zinfandels on the market — surprisingly few of which I’d actually had.

Some favorites: Downing Family’s chocolate bomb from 2006, and an early look at the 2008 Robert Biale Varozza Vineyard Zin, one of the most perfectly structured wines of the show. Perhaps best overall: Hartford Family’s full lineup, which featured solid A and A- ratings across the entire line, all balanced, full of fruit, and richly textured.

Total tally: 45 wines reviewed. Full ratings and limited notes follow. (Some prices were not available.)

2010 ZAP Zinfandel Festival Complete Tasting Report

2007 Acorn Winery Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegria Vineyards / $35 / B+ / thinner

2006 Acorn Winery Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegria Vineyards / $35 / A- / rich and big

2007 Beaver Creek Vineyards Zinfandel Lake County / $50 / B+ / no finish

2006 Bradford Mountain Winery Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley / $28 / A / big pepper notes

2006 Bradford Mountain Winery Zinfandel Grist Vineyard / $34 / B-

2006 Cakebread Zinfandel Snow’s Lake Vineyard, Kates Vineyard / $41 / A- / tastes like a blend

2007 Cedarville Vineyard Zinfandel Estate El Dorado / $20 / B

2008 Cedarville Vineyard Zinfandel Estate El Dorado (barrel sample) / $20 / B- / green pepper notes

2006 Chateau Montelena Winery Zinfandel Estate Napa Valley / N/A / A- / good balance

2007 Chateau Montelena Winery Zinfandel Estate Napa Valley / N/A / B / not ready

2006 Dancing Lady Wines Zinfandel Old Vine Della Costa Family Vineyard / N/A / B

2007 Dancing Lady Wines Zinfandel Old Vine Della Costa Family Vineyard / $27 / A- / peppery

2008 Dancing Lady Wines Zinfandel Old Vine Della Costa Family Vineyard / $24 / A / fruity style, very different and young

2008 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley / $24 / B / overly herbal

2007 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Florence Vineyard / $32 / A- / textbook, jammy zin

2007 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Todd Brothers Ranch Old Vines / $32 / A-

2007 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Louvau Vineyard / $32 / B+

2007 Deep Purple Zinfandel Lodi / N/A / C

2006 Downing Family Vineyards Zinfandel Fly by Night Napa Valley / $24 / A / chocolate notes

2007 Downing Family Vineyards Zinfandel Fly by Night Napa Valley / N/A / A- / younger version of the above

2007 Four Vines Winery Zinfandel Biker Paso Robles / $25 / A-

2006 Hartford Family Winery Zinfandel Russian River Valley / $35 / A-

2007 Hartford Family Winery Zinfandel Russian River Valley / $35 / A-

2007 Hartford Family Winery Zinfandel Russian River Valley Harford Vineyard / $55 / A

2008 Hartford Family Winery Zinfandel Russian River Valley Jolene’s Vineyard / $55 / A-

2007 Mauritson Family Winery Zinfandel Rockpile Cemetary Vineyard / $39 / B / vegetal

2007 Mauritson Family Winery Zinfandel Rockpile Ridge Vineyard / $35 / B+

2008 Mauritson Family Winery Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley / $27 / A-

2008 Mauritson Family Winery Zinfandel Jack’s Cabin Vineyard / N/A / A-

2008 Outpost Estate Wines Zinfandel (barrel sample) / N/A / A

2007 Proulx Winery Zinfandel Paso Robles / N/A / B- / licorice tinged

2008 Robert Biale Vineyards Zinfandel Grande Vineyard, Napa Valley / $40 / B+

2008 Robert Biale Vineyards Zinfandel Varozza Vineyard, St. Helena / $40 / A / one of the tops of the show

2007 Rombauer Zinfandel California / N/A / C+ / almost sweet

2007 Rusina Wines Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley / $30 / A-

2007 Rusina Wines Zinfandel Alexander Valley / $28 / A- / good balance

2007 Rusina Wines Zinfandel Triskelion / N/A / B+

2007 Sonoma Wine Company Zinfandel Zynthesis Cellars, Lodi / $16 / B

2006 Starlite Vineyards Zinfandel Alexander Valley / $42 / A-

2007 Storybook Mountain Vineyards Zinfandel Mayacamas Range Estate, Napa / $34 / A / big plum character

2008 Turley Wine Cellars Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard / $75 / A- / herbal but balanced

2008 Turley Wine Cellars Zinfandel Old Vine California / N/A / A

2007 Woodenhead Zinfandel Guido Venturi Vineyard / $34 / B

2006 Woodenhead Zinfandel Martinelli Road Vineyard Old Vines / $45 / B

2007 Woodenhead Zinfandel Braccialini Alexander Valley / $45 / B+

Similar Posts:

3 Responses to Tasting Report: ZAP Zinfandel Festival 2010

  1. Pingback: Drinkhacker.com » Review: 2007 HammerSky Vineyards Zinfandel Reserve Paso Robles

  2. Pingback: Drinkhacker.com » Tasting Report: ZAP Zinfandel Festival 2010 | The Bottle and Cork - Napa and Sonoma Wine blog

  3. Pingback: 2007 HammerSky Vineyards Zinfandel Reserve Paso Robles | cocktailista.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>