Drew Fuller Staff Selection • Summer 2017Zinfandel is one of my favorite grape varietals, primarily because the resulting wines show big, bold flavors of spice, black pepper, and lush dark fruits. It also best exemplifies a truly American grape varietal, even though it has a European heritage (best known as Primitivo in Italy). At Surdyk’s, we have an incredible selection of Zins, whether you are a fan of small, artisanal wineries like Peterson; bold and intense Zins such as Seghesio, Opolo, and Cline; or cult, high-end wineries like Ridge and Turley. What they all have in common is a price close to $20 (or more), but there are many occasions that call for a wine closer to $10 that still delivers great quality. Well, one taste of Four Vines Old Vine Zinfandel convinced me that it easily meets those expectations.
The vineyards of Four Vines winery are located in Lodi, California, and are comprised of 35-80 year old vines that produce a small amount of intensely flavored berries. The 2014 vintage is 84% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 4% Syrah, and 2% Alicante Bouschet. It was aged in French, Hungarian, and American oak (25% new), for 12 months. The resulting wine shows delicious aromas of smoke, bacon fat, cassis, blackberry, spices, and black pepper. On the palate the wine is surprisingly youthful and lively given the complex nose. Tannins and subtle oak notes help to give the wine structure and a long finish. At UNDER $10, this wine is clearly a stunning value, so buy plenty to have on hand for your next picnic, barbecue, or mid-week pizza and burger meal. Here’s to summer!
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