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January 13, 2017 / WineinTamiTime

A New Day for Zinfandel

Zinfandel is tricky for me. No one else in the world does it like California so I want to love it. I embraced it when I attended Sonoma Summit in 2013, when I tasted a wide variety of them, including one from Rockpile, made by Ulises Valdez, standing on top of the Rockpile Vineyard. I swear that I am going to buy some to enjoy at home, but then I leave the wine shop with gruner or rosé. I naturally shy away from full bodied, high alcohol red wines, even when my head tells me to branch out of my blush colored rut.

There are tasty examples of Primitivo in Southern Italy, but no other growing region has embraced it and made it the rich, fruity punch in the face that Cali has. Its DNA was traced back to the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia where it has been referred to as Tribidrag as far back as 1518. Crljenak Kaštelanski is the difficult-for-Americans-to-pronounce name.

Styles vary from the claret style, which is lighter in color and body and lower alcohol, to inky, 16+% alcohol monsters. Predictably, I gravitate to the former. I encountered today’s wine, the 2015 Day from Sonoma County at the California Grapevine. I tasted it blind with four other 2015 zinfandels, as is the practice at Grapevine tastings. We taste the flights blind and then rank our top three and vote to determine which wines win. This one was my clear #1, as it was the most balanced and elegant of the group. I was not at all surprised and completely delighted to find out that this is Ehren Jordan’s new zin project. He made his name making Turley’s zins and went on to found his own label, Failla. This is one of my favorite California producers of elegant, beautiful Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

If you happen to find these wines, I highly recommend them.

As a side note, if you can get your hands on a bottle of Lagier Meredith Tribidrag, do not think twice. This is super cool wine made by an icon.

For more information about Day Zinfandel: Day Zinfandel

For more information about California Grapevine: California Grapevine

Also check out: Lagier Meredith

 

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