Bill Easton is a fiercely traditional zinfandel producer, who has sourced fruit in and around Amador County in California’s Sierra Foothills for more than three decades. His range of zins are typically stalwart in their structure and form, with deep flavors and formidable tannic build.
Zinster is a departure, made with a partial carbonic maceration—some whole berries and some whole clusters fermented in a closed tank—which helps to brighten the fruit and lighten the tannins. He labels this “Lot 1852,” the year zinfandel is believed to have been introduced to the Foothills, and he seeks to interpret ancestral methods, from a time when destemmers didn’t exist, when winemaking was as simple as throwing grapes in a tank and letting the ferment rip. “Think Fleurie,” he says, referencing the charm, lift and body of that cru in Beaujolais. Drawn from a cool parcel on the estate, this zin is all cranberry and raspberry, bright with chaparral accents, with a juicy berry-filled texture and lively acidity. It’s light in tannin, simple, and irresistible with a burger.
Easton 2021 Amador County Zinster Lot 1852
Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.
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.
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