2013 Napa Valley Mayacamas Range Zinfandel If you were to come back as a vine, Jerry Seps’s steep hillside vineyard would be a pretty tempting place to put down roots. His vineyard faces north toward Mount St. Helena and east toward the Palisades—not a house or a road in sight, only trees, meadows and craggy rocks left by the volcano. Ideally, you’d come back as a zinfandel vine. The vineyard’s cool morning sun and volcanic soils grow zin with racy energy, a sensation that’s captured beautifully in this 2013. With air, the wine transforms all of its blueberry flavor, peachy red fruit and youthful oak into something finer, opening over the course of several days toward mouthwatering flavors of fresh-picked black raspberries and bright, rustic mineral notes that seem patterned after the volcanic rock. —Joshua Greene
Top 100 Countdown
Leading up to our Top 100 in San Francisco, our critics are sharing some favorite wines that will be poured at the event. We’re posting a new note each day through October 10th.