The Prisoner — it’s not just for zinfandel any more, folks. Here’s a look at three new wines from The Prisoner label, only one of which has any zin in it, but all of which share a familiar name.
2019 The Prisoner Chardonnay Carneros – Made with the addition of Roussanne and Gewürztraminer. This wine has the creamy vanilla associated with well-oaked Chardonnay, but there’s a clear note of perfume and dried flowers that showcases the Gewurztraminer influence in a delightful and complementary way. Notes of apple butter, dried pineapple, and almond cookies give the wine an easy drinkability — but at 14.5% abv, mind the hefty, heady alcohol level. A- / $40
2019 The Prisoner Red Wine California – The classic blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Charbono. As is typical with The Prisoner, it’s the zin that sings the loudest, giving this wine a dense, almost fudgy, chocolate character, with notes of plump raisins and currants building to a slightly smoky finish. Hints of cherry and a touch of rosemark emerge with time in glass, but they’re well hidden beneath the weight of the zinfandel. B / $49
2018 The Prisoner Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – Immediately bold with notes of chocolate and currants, this has the lushness of the Prisoner Red Wine blend without the over-the-top jamminess that the Zinfandel brings to the table. Vanilla and spice meld nicely with the deft combination of red and black fruit, leading to a gorgeously silky, almost opulent finish. It’s not overwhelming in complexity, but it sure is hard to put down. A / $55