Tag Archives: Ravenswood

Grocery Store Chardonnay Project

Findings include:
• Very drinkable (86 to 87 point) wines can be obtained for as low as $7-9
• While high QPR (quality price ratio) wines can be found at virtually all price points, the highest rated wines (92 and 91+ points) can be found at the $15-20, $20-25 and $30-and-above price ranges
• The $26-30 range contains surprisingly few highly rated wines
• Three U.S. wine firms are responsible for nearly 17% of these wines, and the top eight wine firms own over 37% of these labels
• Nearly 16% of these grocery store Chardonnays exhibited relatively high residual sugar (sweetness)
• Less than 14% of these wines were bottled under screwcap
• 6% of the wines were affected by TCA and/or oxidation Continue reading

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Zinfandel: The Highs and Lows of ZAP 2013

The greatest Zin producers, whose wines I’ve sampled under other circumstances as well and that are consistently impressive, responsible for one or more wines at this event that I rated 92+ points or higher, are Ballentine, Bedrock, Black Sears, Bucklin, Charter Oak, Dashe, Grgich Hills, Hendry, Puccioni, Robert Biale, Scott Harvey, Terra d’Oro, Three, Turley and Vino Noceto. Continue reading

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A Tour of Historic California Vineyards

This month I toured some of California’s oldest vineyards with a group of winemakers who make wines from these vineyards. The vineyard tour and the dinner that followed were organized to raise funds for the Historic Vineyard Society, whose mission is to document and preserve these precious pieces of California’s vinous heritage. Continue reading

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Zinfandel Styles: Sublime to Ridiculous

Zins, especially those made from low yielding, ancient vines—vines that are over 80 to 100-plus years old, like we are blessed to have in California–can be as complex and balanced as any red wine, although usually less ageworthy than more tannic and structured Cabernets and Syrahs. Others, however, are extremely high alcohol fruit bombs. In other words, Zin styles range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Continue reading

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State of Zinfandel 2012: ZAP Grand Tasting

I know that it is hard to grow Zinfandel, in part because individual grapes tend to ripen at very different rates. It seems clear from a tasting like this that it is not so easy to make very good Zinfandel either. I applaud the producers who manage to do so, crafting complex and intensely flavorful wines, often from very old, extremely low yielding vines. Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, Napa, Russian River, Santa Cruz Mountains, Sonoma, Winemakers, Zinfandel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments