I wanted to call this column a tale of three Zins, because of the wonderful similarities, and delicious differences, in three California Zinfandels I recently sampled. But, with all three sharing a note that shouts Christmas, pine, I had to group them in my holiday celebration column.
Don’t be scared off by the description of a note of pine as a tasting note. It’s not the first note you pick up and you don’t feel like you’re drinking a tree, but it’s definitely there. Backing up a bit, this column is about Zinfandel, not White Zinfandel. Zinfandel, when poured, is a brilliant garnet to dark purple color in the glass. Zinfandel is a wine I know have often overlooked. Tasting these three wines, I’m so sorry I did. All are layered with unique and wonderful flavors. They’re all medium bodied, with lovely, long, dry finishes. But, they have their differences.
Frank Family Vineyards 2015 Napa Valley Zinfandel
Fruity and jammy notes make this a luscious Zinfandel. Red fruit, black fruit and brambly fruit all are present in this dark, yummy wine. Retailing at about $38, it’s a luxury wine that would be very appreciated as a hostess gift.
Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
Smokey chocolate and tobacco notes, think s’mores, make this an assertive and delectable Zinfandel. At $24, it’s a very affordable wine that will make a great lasting impression.
Cline Ancient Vines 2016 Zinfandel
Jammy and spicy, this wine is yet another beautiful expression of the Zinfandel grape. Easy drinking and food friendly, this wine is a complete steal at only $20.