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2018 Cline Cellars Zinfandel Ancient Vines, USA, California, Contra Costa County, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

This is always a go to value wine.  Amazing?  No.  But solid, dependable and tasty.  Purple/Ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, some black cherries, slight cedar and vanilla.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, cherries with a peppery note.  Moderate finish.  This is easy drinking with no edges.  It works nicely on its own and would work well with burgers off the grill.  Drink over the next three to five years.  

2016 Calla Lily Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Ultimate Red, USA, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This continues to be one of my go to wines for reasonably priced Napa reds.  It is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon with the rest made up of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  Deep garnet in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, baking spices, slight oak, and a bit of leather.  Medium to full bodied. On the palate, there is nice cassis fruit with underlying earthiness.  Medium finish.  This should continue to drink well for the next eight to twelve years.  It drinks well on its own and would be a nice match with roasts.  

2019 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Schmiedt Road, USA, California, Lodi, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

Grabbed this one by accident (thinking it was the Sonoma County Zin).  Oh well.  A bit different and very good.  No harm done. A bit more spread out and wider, if that makes sense, than their Sonoma Zins.   Deep garnet/purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is upfront with black cherries, raspberries, bramble and baking spices.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, nice black cherries and raspberries.  Some underlying char.  Lively.  Good finish.  This should drink well for the next seven to ten years.  A nice match for pizza or a burger. 

2010 Mollydooker Shiraz Carnival of Love, Australia, McLaren Vale, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

It has been a long  time since I tried a bottle of this.  Back in the day, this wine was the poster child, good or bad, for the high alcohol, full throttle Australian Shiraz.  Lots of people said they would not age, but the fact is, if you liked that style then and still like it, it has aged fine.  This was the last vintage of this that I bought.  At age 11 years from vintage it tastes how I remembered.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is big with some alcohol but also black raspberries, cassis, roasted meats and herbs and slight prune.  Full bodied.  The first sip packs a wal

2015 Zlatan Otok Plavac, Croatia, Hvar, Plenkovic, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

This is 100% Plavac Mali from the island of Hvar in Croatia.  Zlaton Otok is one of the larger wineries in Croatia.  This is purple in color, ruby at the rim and mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has some barnyard along with ripe cherry fruit.  On the palate, it drinks a bit cleaner with straightforward cherry fruit.  Moderate finish.  This is pleasurable and drinks easy.  It will work better with a burger or some pizza.  It probably should be drunk in the next few years.  

2016 Volarević Plavac Mali Syrtis Gold Edition, Croatia, Dalmatia, Komarma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$53.00USD

This is 100% Plavac Mali which is a genetic child of Zinfandel.  It clocks in at 15% abv, so perhaps that is not unexpected though it certainly is not a Zin.  In a tasting of five Plavac Mali's, this was middle of the road in style between being a full throttle wine and a more old school style wine.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries, slight black pepper, and a bit of black raspberries.  Also a slight bit of baking spice.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Black raspberries and black cherry fruit.  Firm tannins.  A bit of pepperiness.  Nice finish.

2017 Bura-Mrgudić Plavac Mali Marica, Croatia, Dalmatia, Peljesac, Postup, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$21.00USD

This is 100% Plavac Mali, a genetic descendant of Zinfandel.  It was fermented with indigenous yeast and saw partial oak ageing for six months.  As with all the Plavac Mali's tasted, there is some resemblance to Zinfandel but a lot that is different too.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose shows cherries, slight salinity with a slight spice/pepper note.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the cherries come thru along with slight cranberries.  There is a bit of pepperiness but less than the nose.  Good acidity.  Shorter finish.  This wine will drink better with food.  There are slight t

2016 Saints Hills Black Dalmatian, Croatia, Dalmatia, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This appears to be the base Plavac Mali from this producer (they also make single vineyard wines).  In a tasting group five, this was slightly more popular with many than the more robust single vineyard expressions.  It does bear a slight family resemblance to its parent, Zinfandel.  Deep ruby in color with purple swirls.  The nose has slight black cherries with a slight bitterness that is nice.  There is also a slight herbal streak to it (Chervil?).  Those qualities carry thru to the palate.  Slight tannins.  It seems tight and after a couple of hours of air, this loosened up a bit.  It dr

2015 Saints Hills Plavac Mali Sv. Roko, Croatia, Dalmatia, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$58.00USD

This is 100% Plavac Mali from the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.  Palvac Mali is a descendant of Zinfandel (as proven by DNA evidence).  There is some resemblance but not completely.  Among five tasters, this proved to be love it or hate it (well, no one really hated it but average at best for some).  I really liked it.  13.5% abv according to the label.  Purple in color with ruby hues, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is peppery with black cherries.

2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$58.00USD

Always a consistently top Zinfandel.  Purple in color with a thin ruby rim.  The nose is nice with black cherries, raspberries, slight bramble, and char.  Full bodied.  The fruit seems a bit darker on the palate.  Black raspberries with some plums.  Delicious.  Tight but unwinds in the glass.  Long finish.  This seems like it still needs a bit more time, even for those who like their Zins big and fruit forward.  Maybe another three to five years and it should drink well for seven to ten after that.  This drinks great on its own and will work great with bigger foods and also comfort foods li

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