A “Zinful” Experience
Last Saturday I was lucky to be able to attend the Zinfandel Festival at Fort Mason in San Francisco. ZAP, The Association of Zinfandel Advocates & Producers celebrates Zinfandel America’s Heritage Grape and is dedicated to preserving the history of Zinfandel through the Heritage Vineyard at UC Davis. It is the largest single varietal tasting in the World with more than 300 Zinfandel producers featuring barrel samples, new releases and premier Zinfandels.
For me it’s a great opportunity to taste many of the wines that enter the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition, meet the winemakers and thank them for entering the competition and meet new producers as well. It was such a fun experience to compare and taste so many different styles and characters of Zinfandel.
Michael David Vineyards which has consistently won Gold Medals with “7 Deadly Zins,” “Earthquake Zin” and “Lust” released a new Zin called “Gluttony.” This wine was produced from their two best vineyards of 2006. It was rich and juicy with an abundance of blackberries and raspberries on the palate with soft vanilla spices on the finish.
Carol Shelton Wines, Maple Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley, 2005 had deep blackberries, black pepper with a touch of chocolate on the finish.
Maple Vineyards, located in the Dry Creek Valley have consistently produced great Zinfandel for several wineries for many years, including last year’s Best of Show Armida Winery, Zinfandel, Maple Vineyards, 2006. They have launched their own label using their style of winemaking. The wine is really delicious with floral aromas and intense fruit of dark plums, rich blackberries with nice spice on an elegant finish.
Davis Family Vineyards, Russian River Valley, Old Vine, 2006 has lots of red raspberry and dark plums, very rich and luscious.
Peachy Canyon Winery, is located in Paso Robles. They had three different Zinfandels, all excellent. My favorite was the 2006 estate vineyards, which had rich raspberries with a spicy peppery finish.
C.G. Di Arie Vineyard & Winery had a barrel sample of their 2007 Di Arie Sierra Foothills. It was full of rich juicy raspberries and blackberries with a fresh lively finish.
I could go on and on. There were so many delicious Zins, it definitely was the ultimate “zinful experience.”
FINAL NOTE: The Cellar Master will be pouring Gold Medal Wines from the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition at Tutti Mangia, Tuesday, February 10 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. The cost is $10.