Variety: 95% Zinfandel; 5% Petite Sirah
Region: Dry Creek Valley, California
Cost: $40 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: The 2014 vintage of Four Clones Zinfandel presents a medium dark to purple ruby color. At first swirl, a deep and concentrated nose of raspberry and cherry emanate from the glass. A few more minutes of airing reveal subtle notes of baking spices, toffee, and caramel. On the palate, the wine shows classic Zinfandel characters of dark berries, black pepper, and licorice. This tremendous wine has excellent symmetry between fruit, alcohol, tannin, and acid. The balance of the 2014 vintage shines through. The mouthwatering finish lingers for more than a minute proving yet again that this young Zinfandel vineyard is on top of its game.
My Review: It’s not uncommon for me to see Zinfandels in the $30-50 price range when I’m shopping at larger wine stores. It’s less common that I get to try them because a) I’m hit or miss on Zinfandel, and b) I don’t often get to spend that much on a single bottle except for special occasions.
Fortunately, I was offered the opportunity to try a trio of Zinfandels recently, and I have to say that this was far and away my favorite.
In the glass the wine was a deep garnet, almost brick red color. On the nose I picked up raspberry almost immediately, which was impressive given that the wine is 14.5% alcohol/volume and doesn’t at all show as hot. In the mouth the wine was jammy with a smooth finish (which I attribute to the Petite Sirah), showing notes of licorice and dark berries.
My wife and I paired the wine with steaks on the grill, baked potatoes, and asparagus, and it was a fantastic pairing. The balance of the wine (and this is one of the more balanced wines I’ve had recently) was a perfect compliment to all the components on our plates, while the wine itself was perfectly enjoyable with or without the food.
As I said, I don’t normally spend more than about $25 or so dollars on wine – it’s not that I’m terribly cheap, but I know how to pick value wines, and I spend money on the wines that are important to me. That being said, I would absolutely spend the $40 on this wine and not think twice. It’s easily one of the better wines I’ve had lately, and one that I wouldn’t be sad to see show up in my wine rack again.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.