Sonoma Zinfandel

This week we participated in a tasting of Sonoma Zinfandels at Fine Wines of Stockton. As usual George put a twist in it by placing a Lodi Zinfandel in the blind tasting. Our challenge was to guess which wine was from Lodi. Now, while most Lodi Zinfandel’s are big fruit forward, often jammy wines, there are some that are a more restrained style so the challenge was not necessarily going to be easy. I also feel that Sonoma Zin’s have been getting bigger and riper the last few years, too.

The first wine was a 2008 Zinfinity Sonoma County Zinfandel. The wine was a dark ruby color with briar and dark fruit on the nose. There were rich complex fruit flavors without being overripe. Moderate tannins and good acid with a moderate length. The body of this wine was very light.

Next we had the trick wine, which we did’t know yet, a 2010 St. Amant Mohr Fry Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel. Also a very dark ruby color some riper fruit on the nose. There were bright red fruit flavors with a little sweetness and moderate tannins. The finish was moderate length with the fruit flavor.

Out third wine was the 2007 Ottimino Vineyard “Little 8” Russian River Valley Zinfandel. As the previous wines, a very dark ruby color. The nose was stinky initially then just dark ripe fruit. Dark fruit flavors with good acid and moderate tannins. The “Little 8” in the name refers to the fact that Ottimino was the eighth and smallest of the children in his family.

Moving on to the fourth wine we had the 2009 Kokomo Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. A dark ruby color with a ripe fruit nose. There were ripe berry flavors and other dark fruit along with a little vanilla. Moderate tannins and significant acid with a lighter mouth feel.

For our fifth wine we had a 2008 Ravenswood Russian River Belloni Zinfandel. This is a single vineyard wine from the Russian River Valley. A dark ruby color like all of the previous wines. It opened with a stinky, slightly vegetal, musty nose. Not corked or anything, just the way it smelled initially. There were dark fruit flavors with celery in the background. Significant tannins, good acid.

Our last wine was the 2009 Alexander Valley Vineyard Sin Zin. Dark ruby color like everything else. The nose was slightly stinky at first and then fruit. There were black pepper and ripe fruit flavors. Moderate, drying tannins and good acid with a very light body. Fairly long finish of flavor and tannins.

Most of the group felt the Ravenswood was the Lodi Zinfandel so I guess we aren’t real good at determining where a wine comes from. We hope to have a tasting of Napa Zinfandel and some other areas in the future.

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