Tastings – Wine & Spirits Magazine
94             Hendry     $38     2018 Napa Valley Blocks 7 & 22 Zinfandel
George Hendry planted Block 7 in 1975. At the time, he was selling grapes from his family’s ranch at the base of Mt. Veeder, just west of the city of Napa. He planted Block 22 in 1995, a few years after he began to make his own wine. His nephew Mike manages the vines today, blending Blocks 7 & 22, both clone 2 zinfandel, and aging it in French oak barrels (one third of them new). If you love Napa Valley zinfandel as I do, you owe it to yourself to get this wine if just for the smell alone. It starts with tight floral clarity, then expands toward zinfandel’s classic generosity, touching every sense receptor with its purity of fruit. Immediately fresh and refreshing, this begins to sit in its oak as it develops over several days, suggesting that you drink it either now or in ten years when it will have completely digested that oak and show the vineyard through a mature lens. —J.G. (1,463 cases) 

94             Wilson     $38     2019 Dry Creek Valley Sawyer's Petite Sirah
Beeswax florals surround the blackberry-jam flavors of this wine. The tannins are rustic and substantial, adding scents of game and earth without blocking out a red tone of fruit that lasts in the end. Light in color, deliciously lush, this is a petite that’s accessible now, with a few hours in a decanter and grilled meats for dinner. It will also take well to cellar time. —J.G. (150 cases) 

93             Easton     $25     2019 Amador County Zinfandel
Made in what used to be called a claret style of zin, this is bright and luscious, with scents of pipe tobacco and red cherry. The wine has a Foothills frame of granitic minerality that gives it a gritty elegance: pure, joyous fruit tethered to firm tannins. —P.J.C. 

93             Green & Red     $29     2018 Napa Valley Chiles Canyon Vineyards Estate Zinfandel
The woodland freshness of August blueberries drives this wine, a soft and enveloping zin. It grows at the lower tier of Green & Red’s estate in the hills east of St. Helena, in gravels from weathered igneous and metamorphic rock. Decant this, and the initial baked cherry warmth in the finish melds into the tannins, amping up the luxurious feel, bringing out the earthy power in the wine. —J.G. (2,000 cases) 

93             Preston     $38     2019 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Grayson Hartley joined Preston in 2018, making this wine from the family’s organically farmed 125-acre vineyard, including fruit from vines planted in 1910 and 1940. He uses a very small percentage of new oak barrels (between five and ten percent) and a small percentage of mataro (six), blending a bold and spicy wine, about as friendly and welcoming as zinfandel can be. There’s an umami character to the tannins, bringing to mind woodland mushrooms, adding to the density of the structure without diminishing the floral joy of the red fruit. —J.G. (830 cases) 

92             County Line     $32     2020 Russian River Valley Zinfandel
Organically farmed fruit from the Russian River Valley, neutral oak aging and the talents of Eric Sussman and his team at Radio-Coteau combine to make this a pretty great zin for the price. It’s bursting with fresh wild-blueberry flavor, rustic and harmonious in its barnyard-scented tannins. This is ready to decant for grilled vegetables or meats. —J.G. (700 cases) 

92             Grgich Hills     $37     2017 Napa Valley Zinfandel
A heady and satisfying zin, this takes ripe cherry flavors toward forest-berry and spruce scents, before tannins shade the fruit in notes of leather and wood. It’s floral and formidably rich, needing another year or two of bottle age, or several hours in a decanter before dinner with roast lamb. —J.G. (4,352 cases) 

92             Madroña     $14     2019 El Dorado Lake Tahoe Zinfandel
This zin is drawn from three high-elevation estate parcels: the home vineyard, planted in 1973, provides the juicy core of this wine, while Suma Kau and Enyé, at nearly 3,000 feet, provide the spice. Exuberantly flavorful, this is a mouthful of blackberries and spice, along with a scent of licorice. Its texture is firm and fleshy at once, with tannins as fine as an espresso grind. Buy by the case for the patio. —P.J.C. (565 cases) 

92             Rabble     $27     2019 Paso Robles Zinfandel
High-toned and juicy when first poured, this wine smells of plums and cherries along with a tarry note. The flavors are all black plum, dense, ripe and pleasingly rounded, with a seamless balance for steak. —P.J.C. (3,000 cases) 

92             Wilson     $38     2019 Dry Creek Valley Sydney's Petite Sirah
Purple-plum generosity and the muskiness of blackcurrants fill this wine as its oak recedes. It rested for 20 months in French and American oak barrels (30 percent new) and that is the immediate impression it gives, along with substantial alcohol in a mineral spirits edge. Those elements integrate with time in the glass, as they will with four or five years of cellar time. It’s built to age. —J.G. (345 cases) 

92             Dry Creek Vineyard     $38     2019 Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel
The summery side of zinfandel, this has the chew of the ripe skin of a bright-red cherry tomato, along with brisk acidity that seems to cool the warmth of the tannins—like the warm-cool shifts in a September breeze. The fruit is full enough to fill out the tannins, ending clean with lingering floral spice. Tim Bell sources this fruit from vines averaging more than 100 years of age, including some petite sirah and carignan. —J.G. (1,600 cases) 

91             Flying Cloud     $20     2019 Paso Robles Zinfandel
With its warm scents of fig jam and molasses, this would be your average big-boned Paso red if not for the plum-blossom notes that make the wine fragrant and inviting, those florals lifting the beefy texture. Big shoulders wrapped in suede, and ready for a rack of ribs. —P.J.C. (178 cases) 

91             Kendall-Jackson     $17     2020 North Coast Vintner's Reserve Zinfandel
A steal for the price, this is zin in a rich and round mode, with a scent of warm, bursting berries in the sun and briar in the background. The flavors are generous and plenty grippy, just as you’d want them for barbecued ribs. —P.J.C. 

91             Loose Moose     $15     2019 Lodi Zinfandel
Supple and sleek, with a woodsy scent overlying plum and black cherry, this wine’s flavors are generous, the dark fruits taking on a cedary savor. Post in its soft restraint, this is a steal for the price. —P.J.C. 

91             Madroña     $22     2019 El Dorado Zinfandel
This is a big wine, make no mistake, but over the course of two days’ tasting I found myself admiring its contours, the fine tannins that framed figgy, black and blue fruit and kept the wine focused and elegant for such a full-bodied zin. —P.J.C. (737 cases) 

88             Girasole     $16     2020 Mendocino County Zinfandel
A rustic zin with bright red-cherry fruit and gingery tannins, this wine’s sweetness will take on barbecued ribs. —J.G. (977 cases) 

88             Green & Red     $29     2019 Napa Valley Chiles Canyon Vineyards Estate Zinfandel
A wealth of red-cherry fruit up front moves into a smooth, chocolatey finish in this heady zin. It shows some alcohol around the edges, built for the grill. —J.G. (1,500 cases) 

88             Kirkland Signature     $10     2019 Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel
This hits a lot of the right notes—it’s briary, dark-berried, brambly, a touch sweet…and for the price, everything you need for a porch-slamming zin. Buy by the case. —P.J.C. 

87             Goldschmidt     $20     2020 Alexander Valley Fidelity Red Wine
Nick Goldschmidt blends zinfandel and petite sirah in this rustic, purple-fruited wine. It’s warm, earthy and concentrated, to pour with grilled Italian sausage. —J.G. 

87             Seghesio Family Vineyards     $26     2020 Sonoma County Zinfandel
Clean and generous fruit drives this rustic zin, sweet and layered in the end over tannins and acidity that feel a little raw. Balance it out with meats off the grill. —J.G. 
91             Starfield     $42     2019 El Dorado Aglianico
“Convincingly Italian” said one taster of this warm, tarry, spicy aglianico, with its clove and tar accents and easy rusticity. The fruit is blue-black, the flavors concentrated and marked by grippy, woodsy tannins. For lamb chops. —P.J.C. (237 cases) 

90             Starfield     $40     2019 El Dorado Barbera
Olive-skin and tobacco lead the rustic aromas of this barbera grown at 2,300 feet. Its plummy core of dark fruit feels rich and extracted, with the shoulders to cradle barbacoa. —P.J.C. (376 cases) 

90             Minus Tide     $31     2019 Mendocino County Minus Tide Feliz Creek Carignan
This is a fragrant young carignan with violet perfume and spicy red plum fruit, all held within black tannins. It’s simple and high-toned, a gracious red to pour with grilled mushrooms. —J.G. (175 cases) 

91             Long Walk     $38     2019 Rogue Valley Carignane
Scents of red raspberry and cherry have a lean, slightly baked fruit overlay, textbook for carignane. There’s a Rogue Valley coolness to the flavors and especially the chewy texture, adding to the wine’s tension and drive. —P.J.C. (70 cases) 

91             Starfield     $32     2019 El Dorado Cinsaut
A hint of evergreen graces this bright, red-fruited cinsaut from El Dorado County. It’s a mélange of red fruits—cherry, red plum, berry patch—delivered with a lean energy and brisk acidity, with brambly tannins to finish. —P.J.C. (164 cases) 

94             Wilson     $38     2019 Dry Creek Valley Sawyer's Petite Sirah
Beeswax florals surround the blackberry-jam flavors of this wine. The tannins are rustic and substantial, adding scents of game and earth without blocking out a red tone of fruit that lasts in the end. Light in color, deliciously lush, this is a petite that’s accessible now, with a few hours in a decanter and grilled meats for dinner. It will also take well to cellar time. —J.G. (150 cases) 

93             Wilson     $50     2019 Dry Creek Valley Grower Series Snake Patch Petite Sirah
The tannins of this wine are shades of gentle suede that carry scents of desert herbs, scrub and earthy details. That earthiness takes on mineral intensity as the wine opens with air, the tannins taking a more overt role, vibrating like a cymbal’s clash through the lush fruit. The Wilsons purchase that dynamic fruit from Doug Rafanelli, who farms petite sirah in the western benchlands of Dry Creek Valley. —J.G. (150 cases) 

93             Wilson     $52     2019 Dry Creek Valley Molly's Reserve Petite Sirah
From a modern planting of petite sirah, now 15 years old and reaching its stride, this is a clean and savory powerhouse. Its bold layers of red and black fruit build in spice notes of cardamom and Christmas cake, even as the tannins feel youthfully austere. A keeper, this should develop well over the next ten years. —J.G. (130 cases) 

92             Ridge     $34     2020 Alexander Valley Buchignani Ranch Carignane
Stan Buchignani’s grandfather planted the oldest carignane vines on his ranch in 1927; his father followed up with another parcel in the early 1950s. The vines rise up a hillside on the western edge of the Alexander Valley, ripening their fruit to inky purple, with skin tannins that are chewy and thick but not heavy. “If you’re looking for something to go with meat that’s not as heavy as cabernet,” said Aussie wine collector David Hawkins, “this is dry in style, like an Austrian zweigelt.” A day later, the tannins had lightened up, the bright purple wine turning racy. —J.G. (1,300 cases) 

92             Wilson     $38     2019 Dry Creek Valley Sydney's Petite Sirah
Purple-plum generosity and the muskiness of blackcurrants fill this wine as its oak recedes. It rested for 20 months in French and American oak barrels (30 percent new) and that is the immediate impression it gives, along with substantial alcohol in a mineral spirits edge. Those elements integrate with time in the glass, as they will with four or five years of cellar time. It’s built to age. —J.G. (345 cases) 

91             Madroña     $35     2019 El Dorado Petit Verdot
Scents of violet, lavender, blueberry and licorice root give this petit verdot some complexity to go along with its mass. A big wine, but on the rails, with the sanguine intensity for steak. —P.J.C. (85 cases) 

91             Mettler     $25     2019 Lodi Petite Sirah
The power of petite meets the soft contours of Lodi in this stylish and well-priced red. From younger-vine parcels (10 and 20 years old) in the Mokelumne River sub-AVA, this wine is dark and spicy when first poured, its berry scents mingling with cocoa, cardamom and oak. The flavors follow suit and the texture will seduce, soft and fleshy, only to firm up with plenty of finishing tannin. —P.J.C. 

90             Sol Rouge     $60     2018 Lake County Petite Sirah
This wine’s black grip of tannins reveals nuanced green herb notes and black raspberry richness. The depth of its color suggests it may be a while before the wine completely opens. For the cellar. —J.G. (200 cases) 

90             Andis     $40     2019 Sierra Foothills Petite Sirah
Dark and brooding, this petite sirah seems years from peak expression, despite showing plenty of character now. It leads with subtle scents of olive and carob, game and black plum, all delivered with a kind of blunt richness that becomes more defined as the wine opens over the course of several days. —P.J.C. 
92             Desire Lines     $28     2020 California Winds of Change
This blend is about two thirds syrah, with the rest mourvedre, carignane and grenache, all sourced from what Cody Rasmussen calls his windiest California sites, from Mendocino to Santa Barbara. That may account for the wine’s fresh edge, lively, bright, unabashedly red fruited, hinting at multiple ripeness levels and flavor assertions, all of which have learned to play together. It’s well priced to cellar and watch as it evolves. —P.J.C. (350 cases) 

91             Decoy     $25     2019 California Zinfandel
A steal for the price, this zin has a briary scent and flavors of blackberry, blueberry and licorice root. The flavors are lean and claret-like; a well-made wine for steak.—P.J.C. 
93             Peachy Canyon     $44     2019 Paso Robles Nancy's View Zinfandel
This wine is dramatically spicy all around, with scents of olive, tar, mocha and clove, fabulously concentrated and plush. It grows at Mustard Springs Ranch, a dry-farmed vineyard with head-trained zinfandel in the Adelaida District; the blend includes 13 percent petite sirah, pointing up the dark spice, mocha notes and dusty tannins. Decant it for grilled chicken. —P.J.C. 

92             Rabble     $27     2019 Paso Robles Zinfandel
High-toned and juicy when first poured, this wine smells of plums and cherries along with a tarry note. The flavors are all black plum, dense, ripe and pleasingly rounded, with a seamless balance for steak. —P.J.C. (3,000 cases) 

91             Flying Cloud     $20     2019 Paso Robles Zinfandel
With its warm scents of fig jam and molasses, this would be your average big-boned Paso red if not for the plum-blossom notes that make the wine fragrant and inviting, those florals lifting the beefy texture. Big shoulders wrapped in suede, and ready for a rack of ribs. —P.J.C. (178 cases) 

91             Flying Cloud     $20     2019 Paso Robles Zinfandel
With its warm scents of fig jam and molasses, this would be your average big-boned Paso red if not for the plum-blossom notes that make the wine fragrant and inviting, those florals lifting the beefy texture. Big shoulders wrapped in suede, and ready for a rack of ribs. —P.J.C. (178 cases) 

90             Peachy Canyon     $48     2019 Paso Robles The Old Schoolhouse Zinfandel
This is a big wine, made from heritage zinfandel clones and grown in the cool Templeton Gap. The wine’s fruit is dark and spicy, with scents of caramel, licorice and olive, with a plummy center that becomes more refined with air. It’s a bit dominated by oak at the moment. Cellar. —P.J.C. 
91             Loose Moose     $15     2019 Lodi Zinfandel
Supple and sleek, with a woodsy scent overlying plum and black cherry, this wine’s flavors are generous, the dark fruits taking on a cedary savor. Post in its soft restraint, this is a steal for the price. —P.J.C. 

90             V. Sattui     $42     2019 Lodi Pilgrim Vineyard Zinfandel
A sunny California zin with the soft richness of a wine grown in deep fertile soils, this is sweet and honest, a clear and simple take on Lodi fruit. Pour it with grilled chopped sirloin. —J.G. (519 cases) 
94             Hendry     $38     2018 Napa Valley Blocks 7 & 22 Zinfandel
George Hendry planted Block 7 in 1975. At the time, he was selling grapes from his family’s ranch at the base of Mt. Veeder, just west of the city of Napa. He planted Block 22 in 1995, a few years after he began to make his own wine. His nephew Mike manages the vines today, blending Blocks 7 & 22, both clone 2 zinfandel, and aging it in French oak barrels (one third of them new). If you love Napa Valley zinfandel as I do, you owe it to yourself to get this wine if just for the smell alone. It starts with tight floral clarity, then expands toward zinfandel’s classic generosity, touching every sense receptor with its purity of fruit. Immediately fresh and refreshing, this begins to sit in its oak as it develops over several days, suggesting that you drink it either now or in ten years when it will have completely digested that oak and show the vineyard through a mature lens. —J.G. (1,463 cases) 

93             Chappellet     $50     2019 Napa Valley Refuge Zinfandel
This tastes like an old-fashioned Napa Valley red when first poured, though its depth is mostly hidden, just out of view. It responds to a day of air, shedding heavy layers of oak and unctuous fruit for more tender power. The darkness opens to black-mushroom and tree-bark scents, the sweetness of cedar and the woodsy savor of madrone. The dark fruit is smoky and sweet, for a coal-fired wild mushroom pizza. —J.G. (1,200 cases) 

93             Green & Red     $29     2018 Napa Valley Chiles Canyon Vineyards Estate Zinfandel
The woodland freshness of August blueberries drives this wine, a soft and enveloping zin. It grows at the lower tier of Green & Red’s estate in the hills east of St. Helena, in gravels from weathered igneous and metamorphic rock. Decant this, and the initial baked cherry warmth in the finish melds into the tannins, amping up the luxurious feel, bringing out the earthy power in the wine. —J.G. (2,000 cases) 

94             Storybook Mountain     $45     2018 Napa Valley Mayacamas Range Zinfandel
Jerry Seps’s widest selection from his hillside estate northwest of Calistoga, Mayacamas Range is meant to be enjoyed in its youth. The wine has grace and energy, delivering dark-cherry roundness directly into the tannins and their bone-broth savor. Those tannins combine blueberry-skin freshness and a hint of bitter almond in a lasting, supple impression. Heady and beautiful. —J.G. (2,801 cases) 

93             Green & Red     $29     2018 Napa Valley Chiles Canyon Vineyards Estate Zinfandel
The woodland freshness of August blueberries drives this wine, a soft and enveloping zin. It grows at the lower tier of Green & Red’s estate in the hills east of St. Helena, in gravels from weathered igneous and metamorphic rock. Decant this, and the initial baked cherry warmth in the finish melds into the tannins, amping up the luxurious feel, bringing out the earthy power in the wine. —J.G. (2,000 cases) 

92             Grgich Hills     $37     2017 Napa Valley Zinfandel
A heady and satisfying zin, this takes ripe cherry flavors toward forest-berry and spruce scents, before tannins shade the fruit in notes of leather and wood. It’s floral and formidably rich, needing another year or two of bottle age, or several hours in a decanter before dinner with roast lamb. —J.G. (4,352 cases) 

92             Howell Mountain Vineyards     $65     2019 Howell Mountain Beatty Ranch Zinfandel
The old zinfandel vines at Beatty Ranch predate the First World War, sustained in loam that weathered from volcanic rock. Above the fog, at an altitude of 1,800 feet, they catch the cool morning sun, delivering ripe purple plum flavors without any sensation of heat. Instead, the structure feels energized by the volcanic soils, with pink-grapefruit acidity and strawberry-seed tannins, firm, dry and powerful. A long lived zin. —J.G. (100 cases) 
92             Shannon Ridge     $45     2018 Mendocino County Giannecchini Family Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel
From a vineyard still farmed by the family who planted it between 1910 and 1920, this fruit grows on the gravelly Talmage benchlands, in the eastern reaches of the Ukiah Valley. Those ancient vines create a concentrated zin, a little reduced and stinky in the scent, lasting on the power of tough grape skin tannins. This is a rich wine with a clear focus, built to age or to decant vigorously and leave for an hour or two before dinner with lamb chops. —J.G. (1,234 cases) 

92             Skylark     $30     2016 North Coast Las Aves
Robert Perkins, a painter, had worked crush at several artisanal wineries before partnering with SF-sommelier John Lancaster on this winemaking project. Half of this blend comes from two carignane parcels in Mendocino, one dating to the 1950s; the balance is cabernet sauvignon, syrah and grenache. This is remarkably bright for a five-year-old wine, with refreshing red fruit at its core. Carignane’s fruit-skin tannins set the boundaries right away, and the flavors ride within them. —J.G. 

90             Shannon Ridge     $35     2019 Lake County Buck Shack Zinfandel
This zin’s sweet, smoky character is pointed up by aging in used Bourbon barrels, while it gets its cool and zesty feel from high-elevation vineyards. There’s a green mineral character that keeps it lean. For cookouts. —J.G. 

88             Girasole     $16     2020 Mendocino County Zinfandel
A rustic zin with bright red-cherry fruit and gingery tannins, this wine’s sweetness will take on barbecued ribs. —J.G. (977 cases) 

92             Easton     $35     2018 Sierra Foothills Fiddletown Zinfandel
This bottling comes from Easton’s estate vineyard, Rice-McDonald, a rocky high-elevation site that gives this wine its mineral underpinnings. It leads with briary dark berry scents, giving way to a deep and plummy core of fruit, guided by a fine tang of minerals. —P.J.C. 

92             Madroña     $14     2019 El Dorado Lake Tahoe Zinfandel
This zin is drawn from three high-elevation estate parcels: the home vineyard, planted in 1973, provides the juicy core of this wine, while Suma Kau and Enyé, at nearly 3,000 feet, provide the spice. Exuberantly flavorful, this is a mouthful of blackberries and spice, along with a scent of licorice. Its texture is firm and fleshy at once, with tannins as fine as an espresso grind. Buy by the case for the patio. —P.J.C. (565 cases) 

91             Madroña     $22     2019 El Dorado Zinfandel
This is a big wine, make no mistake, but over the course of two days’ tasting I found myself admiring its contours, the fine tannins that framed figgy, black and blue fruit and kept the wine focused and elegant for such a full-bodied zin. —P.J.C. (737 cases) 

91             Lava Cap     $28     2019 Sierra Foothills Reserve Zinfandel
Mostly from the estate vineyard, with elevations above 2,700 feet, this is a big wine, so concentrated it takes a day for the tannic frame to recede slightly, allowing its dark fig and cassis fruit to come front and center, limned with spicy, scented tannins, all creosote and licorice. Impressive. —P.J.C. (1,500 cases) 

90             Lady of the Sunshine     $36     2020 El Dorado Primitivo Narrow Gate Vineyard
Brambly and bright, this smells of mint and briar and hints at its red berry core of fruit. This carbonic wine comes in at 11.5 percent alcohol—lean and crunchy, with a light fruit-skin grip, for barbecue. —P.J.C. 
96             Dutton-Goldfield     $55     2019 Russian River Valley Morelli Lane Vineyard Zinfandel
The Morelli family settled on a ridge just north of the town of Occidental, where they began farming vines in the 1890s. This 1.8-acre parcel of head-trained, dry-farmed zinfandel had been left untended for years before the Dutton family resuscitated the vineyard in 1995, adding adjacent parcels of chardonnay and pinot noir. Dan Goldfield treats the fruit of those ancient vines as if they were pinot noir, with a seven-day cold soak prior to fermentation in small, open-top fermenters. The wine ages for 17 months in French oak barrels (40 percent new) but gives no overt indication of that aging, presenting, instead, a beautiful scent of zinnias, of a garden mid-summer, of a cool evening with the fresh raspberries and blueberries of the season. Tannins wrap that fruit in darkness, but they can’t suppress its explosive power. This only improves with days of air, as it will improve for decades in the cellar. —J.G. (118 cases) 

94             Williams Selyem     $65     2020 Russian River Valley Saitone Estate Vineyard Zinfandel
Everyone on our panel described different facets of this wine’s “zinny energy” and “drive.” It hails from a viticultural treasure, 33 acres on Olivet Road planted in 1895, part of the Williams Selyem estate since 2016. The vineyard sustains zinfandel vines interplanted with a range of other varieties, as well as one block of carignan and another of alicante bouschet that contribute to this wine. It’s a compact Californian with discretion to its power, scents of conifer forest, dark flavors of grape skins and blueberries. The detail in the tannins grows more fragrant and herbal over the course of several days, suggesting the wine has long development ahead in the cellar. 

91             Madroña     $22     2019 El Dorado Zinfandel
This is a big wine, make no mistake, but over the course of two days’ tasting I found myself admiring its contours, the fine tannins that framed figgy, black and blue fruit and kept the wine focused and elegant for such a full-bodied zin. —P.J.C. (737 cases) 

90             Lady of the Sunshine     $36     2020 El Dorado Primitivo Narrow Gate Vineyard
Brambly and bright, this smells of mint and briar and hints at its red berry core of fruit. This carbonic wine comes in at 11.5 percent alcohol—lean and crunchy, with a light fruit-skin grip, for barbecue. —P.J.C. 

93             Ridge     $37     2019 Russian River Valley San Lorenzo
The Seghesio family purchased this vineyard in 1896, now 40 acres bridging the Alexander and Russian River valleys. The original block, probably planted in 1892, is a mix of zinfandel (65 percent), petite sirah (26) and alicante bouschet (9), providing the fruit for Ridge’s bottling. It’s a big, black wine when first poured, with heady fruit, some orange zest volatility and a heavy drape of tannins. Come back to it a day later and the wine’s fullness has transformed into red fruit, smooth and savory, integrating its structure and alcohol into the gentle grace of zin. —J.G. (325 cases) 

93             Seghesio Family Vineyards     $65     2019 Alexander Valley Home Ranch Zinfandel
This wine includes fruit from the original Seghesio planting in 1895; five generations later, the family continues to base its business on zinfandel. Their 2019 is a muscular wine, a lasting mineral essence tied to the intensity and concentration of old-vine fruit. Its juiciness feels like it comes directly from the grape skins, broad and generous. “The tannins are in sync and the wine shows integrity,” said James Conley of Keen’s Chop House in NYC. It’s youthfully tight, set to age for a decade or more. —J.G. (1,251 cases) 

93             Dry Creek Vineyard     $44     2019 Dry Creek Valley Vogensen Ranch Zinfandel
From a steep, rocky parcel on the east face of Bradford Mountain established at the turn of the century, this blend is mostly zinfandel, with seven percent petite sirah. The flavors launch from cranberry and apple to darker tones of black raspberry and chocolate. The tannins are powerful, with cool earthiness and brighter edges of mint, the fragrance of the dark fruit and tannins lasting in the exhale after a sip. Cellar it to let the complexity develop, or decant it now for lean roast game. —J.G. (371 cases) 

93             Meadowcroft     $45     2018 Sonoma County Louvau Vineyard Zinfandel
This zinfandel includes 20 percent petite sirah, adding to the depths of its tannins, their mineral abrasion bringing to mind crushed rock. The fruit within is a taut raspberry essence, providing a suave texture for the tannins to ride against. Cool, zesty and tense, this takes at least of day to begin to develop, its intensity and generosity youthfully entwined. For the cellar. —J.G. (198 cases) 

93             Ridge     $37     2019 Russian River Valley San Lorenzo
The Seghesio family purchased this vineyard in 1896, now 40 acres bridging the Alexander and Russian River valleys. The original block, probably planted in 1892, is a mix of zinfandel (65 percent), petite sirah (26) and alicante bouschet (9), providing the fruit for Ridge’s bottling. It’s a big, black wine when first poured, with heady fruit, some orange zest volatility and a heavy drape of tannins. Come back to it a day later and the wine’s fullness has transformed into red fruit, smooth and savory, integrating its structure and alcohol into the gentle grace of zin. —J.G. (325 cases) 

93             Seghesio Family Vineyards     $65     2019 Alexander Valley Home Ranch Zinfandel
This wine includes fruit from the original Seghesio planting in 1895; five generations later, the family continues to base its business on zinfandel. Their 2019 is a muscular wine, a lasting mineral essence tied to the intensity and concentration of old-vine fruit. Its juiciness feels like it comes directly from the grape skins, broad and generous. “The tannins are in sync and the wine shows integrity,” said James Conley of Keen’s Chop House in NYC. It’s youthfully tight, set to age for a decade or more. —J.G. (1,251 cases) 

91             Ridge     $38     2019 Sonoma County Syrah Grenache Mataro Lytton Estate Vineyard
This floral wine, scented with rose petals, tobacco and green herb, grows on benchlands in the Lytton West vineyard. It needs cellar time for the green notes to integrate with the wine’s meaty savor and begins to head in that direction with a day of air. —J.G. (1,200 cases) 

91             Wilson     $42     2019 Dry Creek Valley Sydney's Zinfandel
A zinny scent of tart red fruit leads into this wine’s cranberry and sour plum flavors. There’s fruit in the tannins as well, combining impressions of plum leather and dark edges of earth. This grows on clay derived from volcanic rock, a southwest-facing vineyard at an elevation of 1,500 feet, planted in 1989. —J.G. (600 cases) 

92             Seghesio Family Vineyards     $40     2019 Dry Creek Valley Cortina Zinfandel
All brute force when first poured, this explodes with rose scents and lasts with austere black raspberry and cherry warmth. Given time, it knits into satin richness, the tannins expressing their power in mineral darkness, leavened by florals and notes of herbs. Ted Seghesio and his father, Ed, planted this sandy parcel in 1972, now providing a classical take on Dry Creek Valley. —J.G. (3,400 cases) 

92             Dry Creek Vineyard     $38     2019 Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel
The summery side of zinfandel, this has the chew of the ripe skin of a bright-red cherry tomato, along with brisk acidity that seems to cool the warmth of the tannins—like the warm-cool shifts in a September breeze. The fruit is full enough to fill out the tannins, ending clean with lingering floral spice. Tim Bell sources this fruit from vines averaging more than 100 years of age, including some petite sirah and carignan. —J.G. (1,600 cases) 

88             Kirkland Signature     $10     2019 Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel
This hits a lot of the right notes—it’s briary, dark-berried, brambly, a touch sweet…and for the price, everything you need for a porch-slamming zin. Buy by the case. —P.J.C. 

87             Goldschmidt     $20     2020 Alexander Valley Fidelity Red Wine
Nick Goldschmidt blends zinfandel and petite sirah in this rustic, purple-fruited wine. It’s warm, earthy and concentrated, to pour with grilled Italian sausage. —J.G. 

87             Seghesio Family Vineyards     $26     2020 Sonoma County Zinfandel
Clean and generous fruit drives this rustic zin, sweet and layered in the end over tannins and acidity that feel a little raw. Balance it out with meats off the grill. —J.G. 

90             Trione     $37     2016 Sonoma County Flatridge Ranch Zinfandel
At six years of age, this wine is maturing nicely, its tannins relaxed, its zesty, youthful floral notes beginning to surrender into quiet and comfortable fruit. That fruit is chocolaty and rich, with coolness in its length of flavor. Pour it with roast boar. —J.G. (1,108 cases) 

90             Williams Selyem     $65     2020 Russian River Valley Papera Vineyard Zinfandel
Dark in its smoky tannins and licorice scents, bright in its tart fruit, this has a spirity edge of alcohol that also serves to lift the flavors. If you open it now, serve it with spicy chorizo. Or let it integrate in the cellar for a few years. —J.G. (353 cases) 

88             Kirkland Signature     $10     2019 Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel
This hits a lot of the right notes—it’s briary, dark-berried, brambly, a touch sweet…and for the price, everything you need for a porch-slamming zin. Buy by the case. —P.J.C. 

87             Goldschmidt     $20     2020 Alexander Valley Fidelity Red Wine
Nick Goldschmidt blends zinfandel and petite sirah in this rustic, purple-fruited wine. It’s warm, earthy and concentrated, to pour with grilled Italian sausage. —J.G. 

87             Seghesio Family Vineyards     $26     2020 Sonoma County Zinfandel
Clean and generous fruit drives this rustic zin, sweet and layered in the end over tannins and acidity that feel a little raw. Balance it out with meats off the grill. —J.G. 

Patrick J. Comiskey covers US wines for Wine & Spirits magazine, focusing on the Pacific Northwest, California’s Central Coast and New York’s Finger Lakes.

Joshua Greene is the editor and publisher of Wine & Spirits magazine.

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