I first encountered Day, a strictly Zinfandel producer centered in St. Helena, at this year’s ZAP festival. Enchanted by the wines, I then found out it was a single-varietal project from Ehren Jordan, winemaker (past and present) at Turley, Neyers, and Failla.
After the show, Day sent us a six-pack of recent releases, all from various vineyards in Sonoma County. Let’s dig in to the offerings and see if my spot coverage still holds up.
2016 Day Zinfandel Sonoma County – This is a simple expression of zinfandel, heavy with bright red fruit, but kept in check by a bit of mint, brambly blackberry, dark chocolate, and a hint of walnut oil. The finish sees a touch of sweet bubblegum in the mix — and while that leaves things with a bit of a cloying note, it’s still incredibly drinkable. B+ / $27
2015 Day Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Grist Vineyard – Some oxidation here, which actually works well with the dark fruit — almost raisiny at times — to give this wine a needed acidity. Notes of chocolate, plum, and dusky spices give this wine some needed complexity. Drink now. B / $35
2016 Day Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Grist Vineyard – What a difference one less year makes: This expression from Grist Vineyard is full of fruit, all fresh, no raisins, no oxidation, with a bold blackberry note. Yes, there’s some vanilla-driven sweetness, but it works with all that fresh fruit, driving to a long, seductive conclusion. As pure an expression of young Zin as it gets. B+ / $35
2015 Day Zinfandel Russian River Valley El Diablo Vineyard – Extremely minty, heavy with eucalyptus and bold baking spice. This settles down with a significant amount of air (try an aerator) to reveal a dried cranberry and currant character, with a fresh cherry and cola note on the finish. It’s all very bold for pinot noir but a fair representation of the Russian River Valley. B+ / $45
2016 Day Zinfandel Russian River Valley Lumberyard – Quite spicy, this is one of my favorite expressions from Day, a bold and sassy wine that takes cherries and cassis and sprinkles it with black pepper and dark chocolate. Silky on the tongue but lasting and powerful on the palate, it’s a wine with structure and depth, highly worthwhile. A / $NA
2015 Day Zinfandel Russian River Valley Audrey – Another lush zin, this bottling is heavy on chocolate and blueberry notes, with just a hint of thyme and rosemary running through it. Opulent on the tongue but balanced between sweet and savory elements, it’s Day’s zin at its finest. A / $NA