I love Zinfandel. This may be in part because my red wine journey started in earnest with Zinfandel. Also, living minutes from the Sierra Foothills, famous for its Old Vine Zinfandel, I have access to some of the best Zin on the planet. I admit a Sierra Foothill bias, but I enjoy exploring other regions and have found a few that continue to impress me with outstanding Zinfandel. Among these are Dry Creek Valley, in Sonoma County, and the greater Sonoma County region in general. This is where today’s wine is from.
Zinfandel is a versatile grape that can present in a variety of different ways, from jammy fruit bombs; to big, bold, and spicy; to light and floral. I think a lot of people who say they don’t like Zinfandel have only been exposed to the former – those jammy, “please pass the peanut butter” fruit bombs. These tend to fall in the lower end of the price spectrum, which is where I have found most people start when exploring new varietals. Generally speaking, fruit bomb Zin comes from warmer climates, like Lodi in California’s Central Valley. Fruit bombs have their place, and many people prefer them. However, my personal preference is big, bold, and spicy Zinfandel. These are most common from slightly cooler regions like the Sierra Foothills and Sonoma County.
Having such a fondness for Zinfandel, imagine my excitement when Franc Dusak’s Zinfandel Sonoma Valley 2013 appeared for sale on the NakedWines.com website! I’ve had other Franc Dusak wines before, and been blown away by all of them, but this is his first Zinfandel for NakedWines.com. This wine spent 23 months in the barrel, which will give it a soft, smooth texture along with the delicious flavors. I ordered some the first day it was available.
Franc Dusak has been making wine for more than a decade, but his name has always been behind the scenes. About a year ago, NakedWines.com got ahold of him, and propelled him to instant stardom! (In my book, at least!) But enough with the lead-in…on to the review!
I’m a Zin freak. Over the years, I’ve had more Zin than any other varietal. Franc, your 2013 Sonoma Valley Zinfandel is dee-licious!
Deep purple with brick rim. Aromas of blueberries and blackberries, along with the promise of oak and spice. On the palate, blackberry, black pepper, black cherry, and promise kept: smooth oak and a spicy finish. Exceptionally balanced fruit and spice ratio; medium body. The tannins are velvety smooth and balanced with soft acidity. Those 23 months in oak really paid off! I’m glad I bought more than one!!
4.5 out of 5 hearts (92-94 points)
Available only from NakedWines.com. Angel Price: $13.99
If this sounds like your kind of Zinfandel, and you aren’t yet a NakedWines.com Angel, click the Naked Wines logo above, or here for a voucher worth $100 off a first-time order of $160 or more. You won’t be sorry you did!