By Bob Hosmon
The grape we know as zinfandel may have originated in Croatia (where it’s known as primitivo), but the wine itself is about as American as it can be. If you’ve not had zinfandel in a while, try these with a Thanksgiving feast – and with burgers, barbecue ribs, roast chicken, steak or pizza the rest of the year, too. It’s a great way to discover just how good the wines can be:
The OZV (Old Zin Vines) from Oak Ridge Winery, produced with grapes from 100+ year-old vines, delivers an intense fruit taste with soft tannins. Once you’ve tasted this robust red from Lodi, Calif., you may wonder why it took you so long to choose a zinfandel. SRP: $15.
Another favorite old-vine zinfandel-infused red is Besieged from Ravenswood. This product of California Heritage Varietals from Sonoma County was created by Joel Peterson to showcase just how amazing a blend could be. One sip and you’ll know he succeeded. SRP: $22.
Two wines from Mendocino County also deserve our attention and our accolades. The Parducci Small Lot Blend Zinfandel delivers robust flavors ending in a smooth finish on the palate, SRP: $14; and the Paul Dolan Zinfandel delivers a party on your palate. It’s delicious, SRP: $26.
The Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel, produced from fruit grown on vines that date from the early 20th century, shows spicy notes, ending in a sophisticated finish on the palate. Production is limited and it won’t be found in every wine shop, but it’s definitely worth a search. SRP: $33.
I’ve always believed that California’s Amador County produces some of the best zinfandels there are. The Renwood Grandpere Zinfandel offers prime proof to substantiate my belief. This blend delivers robust flavors with a lingering finish on the palate. It’s as good as zinfandel can be. SRP: $42. λ