Have you found yourself in a wine rut lately? I admit that I tend to land on something I enjoy and stick with it. For the last two years, that something has been pinot noirs. While I still tend to enjoy most that I have tried, lately I’ve been branching out and trying new things when out on the road. Much to my surprise, I’ve discovered some zinfandels that have made me take a second look.
The first that sparked my interest was the “1918” Old Vine Zinfandel from Twisted Roots (you can read about our tasting room experience here). Perfectly drinkable with or without food, it is a complex wine that that is light on tannins and white fruity, not as big as you’d expect it to be. It retails at around $35, and represents the history of the Twisted Roots vineyard well.
The second we discovered was at the Pahrump Valley Winery in Nevada. The 2013 Nevada Ridge Zinfandel is from their estate-grown grapes – which was quite the surprise as I have never thought of the desert sands of Nevada as being big grape producers. Also light in tannins, this is a fruit-forward wine – I got a heady amount of berry and pepper, but your senses may reveal something more chocolatey. Andy had this wine with steak, and it worked beautifully. It retails for around $28.
The third is actually a blend, but the zinfandel clearly breaks through to make an impression. The Ghostrider Ungrafted Red also comes from grapes out of Lodi (as does the Twisted Roots wine). It’s bigger and bolder than the others, no doubt because it is blended with a cabernet, petite sirah and Syrah. As you can see in the photo, the color is dark and rich, much like the taste. Black cherries and other berries dance with pepper in this wine which does not come off as fruity as you’d expect. We had it by the glass, but the bottle retails for approximately $16.
How about you? Have you discovered new zinfandel? Are you exploring new wines? Find anything that has changed your opinion?