Expert articles and wine tasting videos profiling wines from California, California wine regions, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, & more.

2015 Kirkland Signature Zinfandel Old Vine

This is the Costco home brand.  My first time trying this and it was served to a group of people blind.  Everyone enjoyed this and for $17, there is some real value here.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, bramble and spice.  On the palate, this is middle of the road in style.  A nice backbone of acidity should make it friendly with a wide variety of foods.  Good finish.  Is this amazing?  No.  But it is quite solid and as good as quite a few California Zins costing twice as much.  

2015 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Somewhat of a disappointing showing for this.  It drank fine, but a lot more was expected based on a bottle consumed just a few weeks ago.  Hopefully, the wine is just shut down at the moment.  A second bottle was opened and most of it is left, so it can be watched over the next couple of days.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose is nice with black raspberries and some char.  On the palate, this is tight with black raspberry fruit.  No obvious faults but just lacking anything interesting or complex.  The texture is good but not what has become a staple of this wine.  Given its history, hopeful

2007 Four Vines Zinfandel ZinBitch, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

From Magnum.  Ruby in color, opaque and flat.  The nose is dusty with cedar and black cherries.  On the palate, this is older and starting to get tired.  There is a tart acidity.  Black cherry fruit and slight dried cherries.  Not sure what this was like in its youth but now it is more claret in style.  Drinking well right now with fruit and complexity.  That said, drink up as this will start to slide soon.  Works with a wide variety of foods.  

2015 Three Wine Company Zinfandel Evangelho Vineyard, USA, California, Contra Costa County, Wine Review

A new wine for me, this was quite good.  From members of the Cline wine family.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has black raspberries and some bramble.  On the palate, black cherry, underlying char and slight earth.  Good balance.  More middle of the road on a Zinfandel scale.  Good with a lot of foods.  Seems like it will easily go a decade more.  

2016 Prisoner Wine Company Saldo, USA, California, Wine Review

Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries, black pepper and slight chocolate.  Also some nutmeg.  On the palate, this is very ripe and jammy.  Lots of black cherry fruit and dried cherries.  There is a lot of depth here.  Mild tannins.  For those who like big, fruity wines, this is it.  For others, it might be a bit over the top.  There is some acidity, however, it would take bold flavored foods to stand up to this.  However, one glass, on its own is tasty as a cocktail.  15.9% Alc.  

2014 Robert Keenan Winery Zinfandel, USA, California, Napa Valley, Wine Review

Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is dusty with cherries.  Soft texture.  On the palate, black cherries with some spice.  Soft texture.  It is drinking well now with some depth.  This is a more Bordeaux-esque style of Zin.  For those who are looking for something more refined and not jammy, this fits the bill.  Works with a wide variety of foods.  Probably should be consumed in the next six years.  

2016 Buehler Vineyards White Zinfandel, USA, California, Napa

Ruby in color, slightly electric.  Pretty.  On the nose, there are light strawberries.  On the palate, this is a dead ringer for cherry lifesaver candies.  Its a bit cloying in a wine, but those who buy this are probably looking for this quality.  Nothing offensive and would pair nicely with a light salad on a picnic.  This retails for around $8.  

2016 Kunde Estate Chardonnay, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

This is a nice value in California Chardonnay.  It is pretty classic in style but maintains an even keel which is nice.  It retails for around $16.  Light golden in color.  The nose has some slight butter along with vanilla and melon.  On the palate, this has some oak showing  but there is also plenty of fresh vibrant citrus and melon fruit.  Nice texture.  Would work with a variety of foods.  Good finish.  Nice value and a wine that will satisfy a lot of people.  Drink in the next few years.