Cheers May 2016

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 46 of 51 47 May 2016 • black cherry and spice. It has the ability to be cellared for fi ve years. Grill up a T-bone and enjoy. ($35) (93) Beran 2013 (Sonoma County, CA). Classic zinfandel fl avors with a nose of chocolate, baking spice, plums and blue- berry make this wine a real crowd-pleaser. The palate has a touch of heat with notes of blackberries, acai berries, plums, cloves and blueberry jam. Soft tannins make this a food-friendly wine. This zinfandel doesn't need huge proteins to stand up next to big tannins; pair with barbeque, hard cheeses or even a great dark chocolate dessert! ($36) (92) Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2014 (Sonoma, CA). Seghesio has done a remarkable job of producing a consistently great wine from vintage to vintage. This vintage, however, is the best they have done in years. This wine has a beautiful deep color thanks to a dollop or two of petite sirah). Ripe and rich fl avors of raspberry, blueberry and plenty of spice. This may be the best you can do in this price range. ($22.99) (92) Frog's Leap 2013 (Napa Valley, CA). Made by the talented and funny John Williams, whose approach is making wines of place that are true to the soils they come from. 100% dry-farmed. Williams has also been farming organically since 1988. Frog's Leap zinfandel is layered with boysenberry, fl eshy strawberry and a small touch of spice. Williams also blends in petite sirah and carignan, bringing more depth and structure. A steal at the price! ($35) (92) Macchia Zinfandel Adventurous 2014 (Amador, CA). A bold full-bodied and spicy-pepper-laden zinfandel that is still kept in check by nice vanilla notes and a luscious texture. A wine for a true hedonist. The rich, ripe red fruit and pepper are built to stand up to bold and powerful dishes. ($25) (92) Storybook Mayacamus Range 2012 (Napa Valley, CA). Classic, old-style zinfan- del that's chock full of mouth-fi lling briar, red plum and black pepper. Decanting fi rst will help round out the edges. Try it with a leg of lamb slathered in rosemary and garlic. ($40) (92) Rock Wall Hendry Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 (Napa Valley, CA). Dark fruit aroma. Flavors of plum, blackberry and pepper. Good mouthfeel. Substantial tannins lead to a long fi nish. ($24.99) FOUR STARS (91) Dashe 2013 (Dry Creek Valley, CA). One of the most pure expressions of zinfan- del I've ever tasted. Hand-tended vineyards, native yeast fermentation, no fi ning or fi ltering, this wine rocks. Dark and ripe with incredible silky rich texture and bursting at the seams with blueberry cobbler, black cherry juice and hints of mocha. Love this wine with just about anything! ($19.99) (91) Oak Ridge Zinfandel Res 2012 (Lodi, CA). Deep purple in color, a concentrated, full-bodied zinfandel that has expressive aromas and fl avors of plumb, raspberry and black cherry. The bold, rich mouthfeel provides a fi nish that is smooth and expansive. ($27) (91) Sobon Zinfandel Paul's Vineyard 2014 (Amador, CA). Powerful dark fruit up front, and a touch of oak, emerge from this smooth zinfandel. It fi nishes with a subtle savory notes and a nice tannic fi nish that gives the wine balance. ($25) (91) Machia Zinfandel Mischievous 2014 (Lodi, CA). This high-octane zinfandel has a dense structure coming from old vines in Lodi. It's full-bodied and bold, with intense blackber- ry and raspberry notes that are rounded out by aging in small oak casks. ($22) (91) Sobon Zinfandel Fiddletown 2014 (Amador, CA). A complex zinfandel that combines both elegance and power in its bold fl avors of raspberry, blackberry, cassis and smoke. The agile, smooth mouthfeel and a balancing lush texture provide a well-structured, long-lasting fi nish. ($22) (91) Sextant Zinfandel Wheelhouse 2014 (Paso Robles, CA). Bold and powerful fl avors of red currant, black pepper and rich raspberry are complemented by a judicious use of oak. This is a wine for hedonists with over-the-top body, structure and tannins. ($23) (90) Sobon Zinfandel Rocky Top 2013 (Lodi, CA). Elegant notes of blackberry, plum and cinnamon dominate the palate and nose. Oak notes are evident and used to provide more structure for the ripe fruit and smooth tannins. ($19) (90) Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel (Clarksburg, CA). Consistent, affordable crowd-pleaser. Lots of spicy cranberry and pink peppercorn makes it perfect for summer cookouts. ($12) (90) Mountain View Clockspring Vineyard 2014 (Amador County, CA). Certifi ed organic, this lush zin offers up deep spice, blackberries and a bit of anise. Dry-farmed and aged in American oak for 12 months. Perfect with ribs. ($11.95) (90) St. Francis Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 (Sonoma, CA). Deep ruby in color, this wine begins with aromas of boysenberry, clove and cinnamon, leading to fl avors of blackberry and black cherry fruit, with a hint of licorice leading to a long, luscious fi nish. A classic Sonoma zinfandel from vines aged from 55 to more than 100 years old. ($19.99) (90) Regio Old Vine–Old Clone (O.V.O.C.) 2012 (Lodi, CA). This is from some of the Scotto family's older vineyards that truly defi ne the Lodi AVA. The wine is richly aromatic with bold, robust fl avors of blackberry, raspberry and allspice. It's beautifully balanced with soft tannins and zesty acidity. There are hints of pepper and terroir on the fi nish. It's perfectly enjoyable now, but will cellar for two to three years. RATING SYSTEM Five stars (92-100 points) A top-fl ight wine. Superior in taste and character and providing an outstanding price/value relationship. Four stars (86-91 points) A superb wine and an excellent value. A wine for which customers will keep coming back. Three stars (80-85 points) An above-average wine at a reasonable price point, one that many consumers will enjoy.

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