You have to really love Zinfandel wine to go to this event. Parking is a headache (field day for the meter maids) and with the giant afternoon crowds you sometimes have to claw and kick your way to the front of the line to get your taste of a favorite wine. We are one of the lucky ones who get to go in early at the trade and media session which begins two hours before the public gets their shot. Since most wine drinkers these days are buying wines for under $20, we thought we would concentrate on finding the best Zinfandel wines in that price range. There were three tasters in our group and we probably only got to taste wines from about one-third of all the wineries that were pouring. We did find some gems under $20 and a few that were $21 to $25 that were so good, we had to list those as well. Here are our favorites of the Zinfandel Grand Tasting of 2010.
$20 and Under
Ancient Peaks 2007 Paso Robles – $16
Artezin California 2008 – $18
Boeger Estate, El Dorado 2006 – $20
Cedarville Estate, El Dorado 2007 – $20 – Big Fan
Dancing Lady Della Costa Vineyard, Alexander Valley 2006 – $20 – Big Fan
Pedroncelli Mother Clone Dry Creek 2007 – $15
Pedroncelli Bushnell Dry Creek 2007 – $20
R&B Cellars Swingsville 2007 – $12
Sierra Star Vineyards Old Clone Sierra Foothills 2007 – $18
Sobon Rocky Top Amador 2007 – $16
In the $21 to $25 range
Barnard Griffin, Washington 2006 – $25
Dashe Dry Creek 2008 – $24
DH Gustafson Mountain Cuvee, Dry Creek 2006 – $24
Rockwall Monte Rosso 2007 – $25
Rued Winery Dry Creek 2007 – $25
Taft Street 2007 – $24
Truchard 2007 Estate – $25
We enjoyed ourselves immensely and everyone seemed to be having a wonderful and joyous time. I’m wondering how the late afternoon went. I’m glad I wasn’t
there at that time to fight the crowds or those that chose to be overserved.
Not everyone was as enthusiastic as we were about the tasting. We ran into a guy who runs a terrific wine shop in our neighborhood. He was quite disillusioned about the entire event. I asked him how it was going. “I’m not wine tasting, I’m alcohol tasting, you can’t make wine out of raisins.” Next time I’m in his shop, I’ll check out his Zinfandel selections.