Wine Tasting Dinner: California Zinfandel



By Kori ~ January 14th, 2008.

On Friday night, we had one of our monthly wine tasting dinners. We blind tasted six different California Zinfandels. The four Wine Peeps were in attendance as well as four guests. It was a fun evening filled with lots of laughter, excellent food, and great wines. Among the six wines, the 2005 Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel was the consensus favorite with the 2005 Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel finishing a close second. The 2005 Bogle Vineyards Old Vines Zinfandel pulled up the rear with 5th or 6th place votes from everyone. The other three wines were good but did not set themselves apart as the Seghesio and Dashe did.

LaGayle’s menu included creamy tomato soup with basil, mixed green salad, grilled beef tenderloin steaks with sautéed mushrooms, rosemary-garlic sweet potatoes, green beans, and German chocolate pie. It is always amazing how the wines change through the course of an evening and with certain foods. This meal perfectly complimented the wines and the best ones got even better with food.

The lineup in order from 1st place to last:

20080114_seghesio.jpg2005 Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel – Sonoma County: My favorite of the night from the first sniff to the end of dessert. Exhibits pleasant aromas of black fruits (cherries, blackberries, and boysenberries). These same fruits come through when sipping. Smooth tannins lead to a nice finish. Even though it has the highest alcohol content of the six at 15.2%, it is very well-balanced and therefore does not come across as a “hot” wine. Ready for drinking now and should do well for at least a couple more years.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: K&L Wine Merchants (California), $16.99 [2006 is the currently available vintage]

2005 Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel: Subtle aromas of spice, pepper, and vanilla lead to flavors of black cherry. Good fruit, good acidity, and lower alcohol but rougher tannins, so I did not find it as well-balanced as the Seghesio. Ready to drink now and should last a few more years.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: K&L Wine Merchants (California), $19.99 [2006 is the currently available vintage]

2004 Four Vines Zinfandel Paso Robles Biker
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Price: $16.99

NV Rosenblum “Vintners Cuvee XXIX” California Zinfandel
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Price: $7.98

2005 Buehler Zinfandel Napa Valley
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Price: $14.99

2005 Bogle Vineyards Old Vines Zinfandel
Quality: 1 stars (out of 5)
QPR: NR (not recommended)
Price: $9.99


Filed under: American Wine, California Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines NOT To Buy (1 & 2 Star), Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25, Zinfandel

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