wineries .










Z I N F A N D E L


99 MANZANITA CREEK
2013 Zinfandel
Harris Kratka - Alexander Valley $42
This is what zin is all about! Deep nose of classic zin aromas Ė black raspberry, cherry, anise, plum, pepper spice and dried black fig, with whiffs of vanilla and toasty oak. The palate does not disappoint. This is a mouth-filling, full-bodied zin with lots of spicy character and a wonderful long, lingering finish. (tasted 8/20/15)

99 MANZANITA CREEK
2013 Late Harvest Zinfandel
Russian River Valley $40/500ml
Wow, what a beautiful wine! Think of the best zin youíve ever had, add a little sweetness and youíve got this wine. Superbly-balanced, rich and flavorful, this puts faith back into late-harvest zins! (tasted 8/20/15)

99 MANZANITA CREEK
2010 Zinfandel
Three Vines - Sonoma Coast $28
Wow! A rich, jammy, spicy wine thatís about as perfect as a zin can be. Classic raspberry, cherry, plum, pepper spice and some floral elements, with just the right amount of oak, all come together in a beautifully-balanced, wonderfully-crafted wine that leads to a long, spicy, lingering finish. This is what zin is supposed to be!

99 MANZANITA CREEK
2010 Zinfandel
8th Street Zin - Sonoma Valley $28
Not to be redundant, but... Wow! A rich, jammy, spicy wine thatís about as perfect as a zin can be. Classic raspberry, cherry, plum, pepper spice and some floral elements, with just the right amount of oak, all come together in a beautifully-balanced, wonderfully-crafted wine that leads to a long, spicy, lingering finish. This is what zin is supposed to be!

99 VILLA TOSCANO
2012 Old Vine Zinfandel
Fox Creek Vineyard - Shenandoah Valley $20
(tasted 1/28/15)

98 HOWELL MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS
2010 Old Vine Zinfandel
Howell Mountain - Napa Valley $45

98 MANZANITA CREEK
2013 Old Vine Zinfandel
Cloud Buster - Russian River Valley $28
From the moment you small this wine you know itís gonna be fantastic! Beautiful aromas of brambly blackberry, raspberry, briar, pepper spice with complements of cedar, vanilla and toasted oak. On the palate, this is a spicy, tasty wine with lots of flavor leading to a lingering oak-filled finish. (tasted 8/20/15)

98 MANZANITA CREEK
2009 Zinfandel
Three Vines - Sonoma Coast $25

98 MANZANITA CREEK
2009 Old Vine Zinfandel
Cloud Buster - Russian River Valley $28

98 ROCK WALL
2011 Zinfandel
Reserve; Monte Rosso Vineyard - Sonoma County $40

98 ROCK WALL
2011 Zinfandel
Reserve; Hendry Vineyard - Napa Valley $40

98 VILLA TOSCANO
2012 Zinfandel
Rattlesnake Rock - Shenandoah Valley $20
(tasted 1/28/15)

97 CAMBRIDGE & SUNSET
2012 Zinfandel
California $13
The varietal jumps from the glass: fresh raspberry, strawberry, cherry and touches of blueberry enveloped in pepper spice and floral notes. This zin has character! Spicy red fruit flavors dance on your tongue in a well-balanced, well-constructed wine, which lingers on and on and on. Excellent!

97 MANZANITA CREEK
2013 Zinfandel
Three Vines - Sonoma Coast $28
Nice raspberry jam, cherry, black plum, blackberry and pepper spice aromas with hints of cola, chocolate, vanilla and oak following. This wine has a nice, spicy character, is well-balanced and structured, and leaves you with a pretty long, spicy, lingering finish. (tasted 8/20/15)

97 MANZANITA CREEK
2010 Zinfandel
Harris-Kratka - Alexander Valley $42
Deep nose of classic zin aromas Ė black raspberry, cherry, anise, plum, pepper spice and dried black fig, with whiffs of smoke, vanilla and toasty oak. The palate does not disappoint. This is a mouth-filling, full-bodied zin with lots of spicy character and a wonderful long, lingering finish.

97 MANZANITA CREEK
2010 Zinfandel
Carreras Ranch - Dry Creek Valley $42
Aromas of dark raspberry, black cherry, plum, star anise, pepper spice and black fig supported by chocolate, vanilla, smoke and oak. A little sticky at first on the palate, this wine opens-up into a flavorful array of red and black fruit flavors melting into a sea of chocolate and toasted oak.

97 PEDRONCELLI
2010 Zinfandel
Mother Clone - Dry Creek Valley $16

97 RUDY
2014 Zinfandel
Napa Valley $20
(tasted 2/14/17)

97 SOBON ESTATE
2013 Zinfandel
Cougar Hill - Amador County $18
(tasted 3/5/16)

97 SOBON ESTATE
2008 Zinfandel
Cougar Hill - Amador County $17
Mirroring the 2008 Fiddletown Zin, this is another rich, spicy zin with wonderful a mouthfeel of raspberry, cherry, licorice and freshly ground pepper. The long lingering finish offers up some nice chocolate and oak nuances to add to the complexity.

97 VIE
2008 L' Estranger
The Stranger - Sonoma County $39
Pretty raspberry, blackberry and cherry aromas, with pepper spice, light cola and oak nuances. This is a wonderfully-balanced wine, with the smooth, sexy qualities of syrah fortified with upfront zinfandel fruit and a nice backbone supplied by petite sirah.

97 WISE VILLA WINERY
2012 Zinfandel
Sierra Foothills $29.27
(tasted 3/15/16)

96 BLISS FAMILY VINEYARDS
2012 Zinfandel
Mendocino $12
Candied cherry, raspberry and strawberry, complemented by pepper spice, jammy boysenberry and touches of oak. As the wine opens it becomes more zin-like, with the raspberry and pepper spice characteristics leading the way to a delightfully-long finish. (tasted 5/22/15)

96 BLUE QUAIL
2013 Old Vine Zinfandel
Potter Valley - Mendocino $19
Candied raspberry, cherry and strawberry aromas mingle with herbaceous black pepper spice and light amounts on vanilla and oak. If you want a huge, chewy, jammy zin, this is not your wine. This is a light-to-medium-bodied, food-friendly wine thatís well-balanced and exhibits great zin character without all of the heavy baggage most zins have these days. (tasted 3/14/15)

96 BOGLE
2010 Old Vine Zinfandel
California $11

96 BRUTOCAO
2011 Zinfandel
Hopland Ranches - Mendocino $24
(tasted 5/22/15)

96 CHATOM VINEYARDS
2010 Zinfandel
Calaveras County $20

96 HOOK & LADDER
2009 Zinfandel
Estate Bottled - Russian River Valley $22

96 MAGNOLIA (KRUTZ FAMILY CELLARS)
2012 Zinfandel
Napa Valley $25
Pretty black raspberry, black cherry, blueberry, pepper spice and brambleberry aromas, with a good dose of cedary oak following. This is a wine that benefits from aeration. At first the wine is a bit sticky on the palate. But more fruit and spice come out over time in the glass or with decantation, with the optimal palate being left overnight in an opened bottle.

96 MANZANITA CREEK
2012 Zinfandel
Three Vines - Sonoma Coast $28
Nice raspberry, cherry, cola, blackberry and pepper spice aromas with chocolate, vanilla and oak following. This wine has a nice, spicy character, is well-balanced and structured, and leaves you with a pretty long, spicy, lingering finish.

96 MANZANITA CREEK
2009 Zinfandel
Addor - Mendocino County $25

96 MCNAB
2013 Zinfandel
Mendocino County $18

96 MEADOWCROFT
2012 Zinfandel
Speedy Creek Vineyard; Knights Valley - Sonoma County $28
Classic raspberry, bing cherry, strawberry and blackberry fruit aromas tucked-in with pepper spice and light oak. Great character on the palate, with spicy red fruit leading the way to a slightly sticky finish. Let this age a bit and itíll shine even brighter. (tasted 3/4/15)

96 PEDRONCELLI
2013 Zinfandel
Mother Clone - Dry Creek Valley $17
(tasted 9/28/15)

96 PEDRONCELLI
2012 Zinfandel
Mother Clone - Dry Creek Valley $16

96 POMAR JUNCTION VINEYARD
2007 Zinfandel
Monterey $34

96 ROCK WALL
2012 Zinfandel
Jessie's Vineyard - Contra Costa County $30

96 RUDY
2013 Zinfandel
Napa Valley $11

96 RUDY
2012 Zinfandel
Napa Valley $20

96 SHENANDOAH VINEYARDS
2010 Zinfandel
Special Reserve - Amador County $10
An almost Nouveau-like nose of fresh red fruit, spice and wild blackberries. This wine is a bit deceiving as itís light enough to possibly chill a bit (not too much) and drink alone, but bold enough to stand up to heavier dishes. Itís well balanced, fruit-forward with a long, lingering finish. Excellent for the price!

96 SOBON ESTATE
2010 Zinfandel
Cougar Hill - Amador County $18
Forward dusty raspberries, black cherries, cranberries, prunes and plums, with complements of licorice, pepper spice, chocolate, vanilla and oak. This is a rich, well-balanced wine delivering all of the aromas on the palate, and ending in a long, lingering, slightly sticky finish.

96 SOBON ESTATE
2010 Zinfandel
Rocky Top - Amador County $17
Pretty nose of dried raspberries, black cherries, pruned plums and pepper spice, with light mineral dust, coffee/black tea, cocoa, vanilla and oak. The palate delivers the same in a well-balanced, round body leading to a nice lingering slightly-spicy finish.

96 SOBON ESTATE
2010 Zinfandel
Hillside - California $13
Fresh raspberry, cherry strawberry and pepper aromas, with light clove, dust and oak following. The palate shows great character, with spicy fruit flavors wrapped in secondary elements leading to a wonderfully-long, lingering finish. Buy this by the case!

96 SOBON ESTATE
2009 Old Vines Zinfandel
Amador County $12
Pretty raspberry, cherry and blackberry aromas, with pepper spice, light cola and oak nuances. Well-balanced and tasty, this is a great everyday zinfandel that you should buy by the case!

96 SOBON ESTATE
2009 Zinfandel
Fiddletown $22
Pretty dusty blackberry, raspberry, cherry and licorice aromas, with pepper spice, light cola, chocolate and oak nuances. Really well-balanced and tasty, with s soft, rich palate and long-lingering round finish. This is a great example of zinfandel from this appellation.

96 SOBON ESTATE
2008 Zinfandel
Fiddletown $20
Fresh raspberry, cherry and pepper aromas, with light clove, dust and oak following. A rich and complex wine, with a bold and spicy palate, forward fruit, spicy pepper notes and a classic zinfandel finish.

96 VIE
2008 Zinfandel
Beatty Ranch - Howell Mountain - Napa Valley $39
Fresh raspberry jam, cherry, wild blackberry and pepper in the nose, with clove, cherry, chocolate and oak following. A zesty bold and spicy palate, with forward fruit and a classic zinfandel finish.

96 WISE VILLA WINERY
2011 Zinfandel
California $30

96 VILLA TOSCANO
2013 Old Vine Zinfandel
Shenandoah Valley $26
(tasted 6/24/16)

95 BLISS FAMILY VINEYARDS
2010 Zinfandel
Mendocino $12
At first this wine isnít terribly varietal, presenting nice red wine aromas of cherry, raspberry, prune, pepper spice and touches of oak. But as the wine opens it becomes more zin-like, with the raspberry and pepper spice characteristics leading the way to a delightfully-long finish. Let breathe.

95 BRUTOCAO
2009 Zinfandel
Hopland Ranches - Mendocino $22
Jammy raspberry, cherry, strawberry, light blackberry, cola and pepper spice are kissed with vanilla and oak. A nice, well-balanced, spicy palate with jammy fruit and a lingering slightly tart finish.

95 GRAYSON
2013 Zinfandel
Lot 12 - California $11
(tasted 1/29/15)

95 HOWELL MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS
2012 Old Vine Zinfandel
Howell Mountain - Napa Valley $45
(tasted 6/6/15)

95 MANZANITA CREEK
2010 Old Vine Zinfandel
Cloud Buster - Russian River Valley $28
Interesting aromas of brambly blackberry, raspberry, briar, pepper spice with complements of cedar, vanilla and toasted oak. A little stiff on the palate, this is a tightly-woven, tasty wine with lots of flavor leading to a lingering oak-filled finish.

95 MCFADDEN
2012 Old Vine Zinfandel
Mendocino $24
Raspberry, cherry, strawberry and brambleberry aromas mingle with herbaceous black pepper spice and light amounts on vanilla and oak. This is a well-structured, medium-bodied, food-friendly wine thatís well-balanced and exhibits great zin character without all of the heavy baggage most zins have these days.

95 MCFADDEN
2010 Old Vine Zinfandel
40th Anniversary Edition - Mendocino $24
Candied raspberry, cherry and strawberry aromas mingle with herbaceous black pepper spice and light amounts on vanilla and oak. If you want a huge, chewy, jammy zin, this is not your wine. This is a medium-bodied, food-friendly wine thatís well-balanced and exhibits great zin character without all of the heavy baggage most zins have these days.

95 OAKVILLE WINERY
2009 Zinfandel
Oakville - Napa Valley $25
Opens with heavy blackberry, black raspberry, black cherry and oak aromas, with undertones of anise, pepper-spice, licorice, vanilla and chocolate. Same elements follow through on the palate, in a well-balanced, full-bodied wine that fills the mouth all the way through the nice round-tannin finish.

95 PEDRONCELLI
2011 Zinfandel
Mother Clone - Dry Creek Valley $17
A good dose of toasty oak on the nose is followed by black raspberry jam, black cherry, pepper spice and light whiffs of violets. The palate delivers the same, with well-balanced, spicy fruit flavors battling toasty oak all the way through the long, round tannin, lingering finish.

95 PEDRONCELLI
2009 Zinfandel
Bushnell Vineyard - Dry Creek Valley $20

95 R&B CELLARS
2010 Zinfandel
Zydeco - Napa Valley $30
Pretty raspberry, cherry, blackberry, briar and anise enveloped in pepper spice and a good dose of spicy oak. Nice character on the palate, a bit oaky but the fruit underneath is fresh and just enough to carry it through the lingering finish.

95 ROCK WALL
2009 Zinfandel
Stagecoach Vineyard - Napa Valley $40

95 SOBON ESTATE
2014 Zinfandel
ReZerve - Amador County $24
Following in the footsteps of previous vintages, this wine offers nice aromas of black raspberry, plum, blackberry, chocolate, oak and prune, with hints of cocoa and mulberry. Well-balanced, this structurally-sound wine could use a little time to open and show its true character. It also seems to have a bit more oak than previous vintages. However, the fruit came out more one the second day of tasting, so decant or give it some time in the glass before drinking. (tasted 9/30/16)

95 SOBON ESTATE
2013 Zinfandel
ReZerve - Amador County $24
(tasted 3/5/16)

95 SOBON ESTATE
2011 Zinfandel
ReZerve - Amador County $24
Nice aromas of black raspberry, plum, blackberry, chocolate, oak and prune, with hints of cocoa and mulberry. Well-balanced, this structurally-sound wine could use a little time to open and show its true character. The fruit came out more one the second day of tasting, so decant or give it some time in the glass before drinking.

95 SOL ROUGE
2011 Zinfandel
Red Hills - Lake County $28

95 THOMAS HENRY
2012 Zinfandel
California $18
Nice raspberry, cherry, strawberry and plum aromas complemented by spice, vanilla and oak. On the palate this wine is a bit sticky and tight, but offers good fruit and secondary flavors that fight for attention through the long, lingering, spicy finish. (tasted 4/19/15)

95 VIE
2010 Zinfandel
Beatty Ranch - Howell Mountain - Napa Valley $39

95 VILLA TOSCANO
2011 Old Vine Zinfandel
Shenandoah Valley $15

94 CHESSMAN
2010 Zinfandel
Lodi $13

94 R&B CELLARS
2009 Zinfandel
Zydeco - Napa Valley $28
Deep aromas of blackberry, raspberry, cherry/black cherry and plum, surrounded by chocolate, vanilla, spice and oak, with hints of earth and flesh. This is what youíd expect from a Napa zin: dark berry fruits supported by a good complement of oak, ending in a firm but balanced finish.

94 ROCK WALL
2012 Zinfandel
Alegria Vineyard - Russian River Valley $30

94 SOBON ESTATE
2014 Zinfandel
Cougar Hill - Amador County $18
Forward dusty brambleberries, raspberries, black cherries, cranberries and black plums, with complements of chocolate, vanilla and oak. This is a rich, well-balanced wine delivering all of the aromas on the palate, and ending in a long, lingering, slightly sticky finish. (tasted 9/30/16)

94 SOBON ESTATE
2009 ReZerve Zinfandel
Amador County $24
A bit closed when first opened, this wine will benefit from some air. After it had a chance to open, this wine displayed black raspberry, berry, cocoa and plum aromas wrapped in vanilla and oak. The palate mirrored the aromas, adding a touch of mulberry in the lingering finish.

94 SOBON ESTATE
2008 ReZerve Zinfandel
Amador County $24
A full nose of ripe raspberry, blackberry, plum, blueberry, chocolate and oak. A bit hard-edged on the palate, this wine delivers the same flavors in a body that could use a bit more time to round out. Still, this wine is very flavorful and will only improve with some age.

93 3 BALL
2012 Zinfandel
California $15
A little green at first (blew off) with blackberry, raspberry, cola, black tea and a good dose of oak on the nose. This wine benefitted from sitting on the counter overnight, as more fruit came out and less oak on the palate. Itís an everyday drinker and well-balanced, if you like a lot of oak in your Zins. (tasted 8/3/15)

93 MCMANIS
2012 Zinfandel
California $11

93 SOBON ESTATE
2013 Zinfandel
Rocky Top - Amador County $18
(tasted 3/5/16)

93 SOBON ESTATE
2014 Old Vine Zinfandel
Amador County $13
Pretty raspberry, cherry and blackberry aromas, with pepper spice, light licorice, cola and oak nuances. Well-balanced and tasty, this is a great everyday zinfandel! (tasted 9/30/16)

93 SOBON ESTATE
2009 Zinfandel
Rocky Top - Amador County $17
A firm but flavorful wine displaying blackberry, dark raspberry, cherry and chocolate aromas and flavors, with touched of licorice, pepper spice and prune, ending in a nice, long lingering finish.

93 SOBON ESTATE
2009 Zinfandel
Cougar Hill - Amador County $18
Pretty aromas of blackberry, raspberry, cherry, licorice and oatmeal cookies, with hints of chocolate, prune and pepper spice. A bit more approachable that the Rocky Top, this wine delivers the same on the palate with a bit more spice in the long lingering finish.

93 THE WINERY SF
2010 Zinfandel
North Coast $24
Pretty raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry and cherry aromas, with pepper spice, light cola and oak nuances. A little tight on the palate, the fruit flavors battle with the oak on the lingering finish.

92 BLISS FAMILY VINEYARDS
2009 Zinfandel
Mendocino $12
Although this wine isnít terribly varietal, it does offer tasty red and black fruit flavors in a spicy body complemented by just the right amount of vanilla and oak. It did open nicely overnight, so either give it some time or decant.

92 BRUTOCAO
2010 Zinfandel
Hopland Ranches - Mendocino $24
Ripe raspberry, cherry, strawberry, light blackberry and pepper spice are kissed with cinnamon, vanilla and oak. A nice, well-balanced, spicy palate with ripe, jammy fruit and a lingering finish.

92 GRAYSON
2014 Zinfandel
Lot 12 - California $10
(tasted 8/3/15)

92 PEDRONCELLI
2012 Zinfandel
Bushnell Vineyard - Dry Creek Valley $20

92 THOMAS HENRY
2011 Zinfandel
California $18
Nice black cherry, raspberry, blackberry and plum aromas with some spice, light chalk/minerals and chocolate/oak. Although not terribly varietal, this is a well-balanced, tasty wine with good fruit flavors and a nice, little sticky, lingering finish.

91 HOWELL MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS
2011 Old Vine Zinfandeln
Howell Mountain - Napa Valley $45

91 R&B CELLARS
2010 Zinfandel
Swingsville - Contra Costa $13
Aromas of fresh raspberry, strawberry, cherry and blueberry, with complements of pepper spice and oak. Although not terribly varietal, this is a nice, well-balanced red wine, with good mouthfeel and a smooth, round finish.

91 SAN MARCOS CREEK
2009 Zinfandel
Paso Robles $26

91 SHENANDOAH VINEYARDS
2014 Zinfandel
Special Reserve - Amador County $11
Blackberry, raspberry, cola, black tea/burnt coffee and a good dose of oak on the nose. This wine has a lot of winemaking in it, isnít terribly varietal, but itís fine for an everyday drinker if you like a lot of oak in your Zins. (tasted 9/30/16)

91 SOBON ESTATE
2012 Old Vines Zinfandel
Amador County $13
Blackberry, raspberry, cola, black tea/burnt coffee and a good dose of oak on the nose. This wine benefitted from sitting on the counter overnight, as more fruit came out and less oak on the palate. Itís an everyday drinker and well-balanced, if you like a lot of oak in your Zins.

91 ZINSATIONAL
2010 Zinfandel
Lodi $12

90 DANCING BULL
2011 Zinfandel
Winemaker's Reserve - California $12

90 MCMANIS
2014 Zinfandel
Lodi $11
(tasted 11/28/15)

90 SOBON ESTATE
2011 Zinfandel
Rocky Top - Amador County $17
Black raspberry, blackberry, cherry and cola aromas are muffled in oak, vanilla and cocoa. The spicy palate offers the same in a wine you wish had just a little less oak to let the fresh dark fruit come out. Still, itís a well-made wine with a long lingering finish.

90 SOL ROUGE
2012 Zinfandel
Red Hills - Lake County $28

90 THE WINERY SF
2008 Zinfandel
North Coast $24