2002 Harvest Moon Winery Pitts Home Ranch Zinfandel $$ (28.00) - A very approachable Zin, light to medium bodied with lots of upfront fruit and berry flavors and just a touch of spice.  This wine sports 15% alcohol but doesn't have the burn that many high alcohol wines can produce.  A nice Russian River Valley Zin which would pair well with lighter foods.  WJ  2/21/05

2001 Ravenswood Zinfandel Lodi $ (14.00)  A solid Zin from a reliable producer brought a mouthful of black cherry, dark fruits, a hint of spice and a silky smooth finish.  An enjoyable wine and a nice compliment to a hearty beef stew.  

1996 Ferrari Carano Zinfandel $ (19.00)   By the time you read this, it would be too late to recommend you find this wine.  It has seen the summit and is beginning its downhill slide.  The color has bricked and the fruit is beginning to fade, though black cherry and plum still hang in the glass.  

2000 Mariah Zinfandel $$ (30.00)    Unfortunately, this wine carried a bit of a funk on the initial nose and it sat on the fruit and flavors a non funky bottle would have had.  It was not totally shot, but the wet cardboard upfront took awhile to leave.  I will hunt down another and leave open for an amendment.  

2001 Napa Wine Company Zinfandel $ (24.00)    This is a richly textured, silky wine with plenty of cherry and raspberry fruits.  A touch of spice finishes this in a subtle, soft fashion

2001 Rancho Zabaco Dancing Bull Zinfandel $ (12.99)   You should keep this wine around for fun, a host of fruit with a chocolaty finish. Kind of like that box of chocolate-covered cherries your Grandmother kept in the parlor for company.

2000 Ravenswood Zinfandel Sonoma County $ (16.99)  Hang in there to get past the wood and tannin because this one has some really nice flavors of black fruit, chocolate and blueberry.  A fun wine to enjoy with friends.

2000 Rancho Zabaco Dancing Bull Zinfandel $ (14.99)   Zinfully pleasing, this wine has great fruit and a complex nose.  Right from the first sniff, I got cranberries and cinnamon, and then there was a host of raspberry, dark cherry and chocolate. The only reason I didn’t give this one a higher rating is that the after taste ran hot, too much of an alcohol back-draft and not enough of a long fruit finish.  Let this one sit open for sometime.  

2000 Renwood Zinfandel $ (8.99)  A compliment to the Italian Hot Dog from Newark, this wine is robust and firmly structured with dark cherry, spice and chocolate flavors that stand tall in the face of adversity.  A soft finish for such a bold wine.  

2000 Valley of the Moon Zinfandel $ (14.99)   This Zin is made up of 93% Zinfandel, 4% Petite Sirah and 3% Barbera boosting lush ripe flavors of raspberry, strawberry and vanilla.  A silky texture and balance of tannins draw you into this wine.  

1999 Ridge Geyserville $$ (38.00)   This is a blend of 68% Zinfandel, 16% Carignane and 16% Petite Sirah and is a bold bouquet of dark fruits and oak.  Unfortunately, the oak and tannins overpowered the fruit and left a harsh after taste through much of the bottle.  Let this one sleep in the cellar for a while to bring more of its beauty out.  
1999 Murphy-Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel
$ (17.99)
  A nice wine that starts a bit hot, but the alcohol settles and lets the dark berry, and raisin flavors come out.  Hints of oregano, spice and vanilla round this wine out.

1999 Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Clone Zinfandel $ (16.99)   This wine poured a deep, rich purple into our Tailgating wine glass pack and it was a bit harder to get the true nose off it.  It did exhibit blackberry, pepper and anise and showed a good balance of oak and acidity to let you know this one can hang around for a few years in the cellar.  

1997 Storybook Mountain Vineyards, Zinfandel, Eastern Exposure $$ (27.00)  This Zin is tempered with a touch of Viognier to soften and round off this wine.  Decant this one, it starts out Hot (alcohol) and takes time to mellow to reveal its berry and black cherry fruit, low acidity and nice length to the finish  

1995 Ridge Zinfandel, Geyserville, Sonoma County $$ (22.00)   A nectar of deep ruby cast, full-body and massive oak.  Black fruit and brown spices make this a lusty, full-length wine.  Not for the weak at heart.  

1998 St. Francis Zinfandel, Old Vines, Sonoma County $ (18.00)   Deep ruby hue with plenty of lush dark fruit and chocolate.  Mild tannins round this out to give it a velvety, supple finish.  This was my second choice for Turkey Day, which would have been far better than the Gewertz.  This stands up well to sausage, escarole, and lentil stew.  The spice compliments the caraway in the Italian sweet sausage.

1998 Rombauer El Dorado Zinfandel $$ 28.00     This is a big bold wine very approachable with a bucket-load of berry fruit and chocolate overtones.  Smooth and soft with a mouth filling texture that makes this the wine you want to drink at the end of the night…

1997 Rosenblum Annette’s Reserve Zinfandel $$ (25.00)    This is a blend of 78% Zinfandel, 15% Carignane and 7 % Petite Sirah which gives this wine a nice red fruit and berry flavor, but a much lighter wine than other Zins.  This wine is a bit rough around the edges and has a bit of an after taste.

1998 Kempton Clark Mad Zin $ (12.00)   This wine is called MAD (Multiple Appellation Designate) and brings grapes from several great wine regions in California.  Comprised of 85% Zinfandel, and the balance Alicante Bouschet and Petite Sirah.  Balanced and full of berries, this is a pleasurable wine to consume on a clear summer night when the sun and humidity have dropped and a light breeze occasionally rustles the leaves.  

1997 Peju Province Zinfandel   - Peju produces and sells from their tasting room which is located in Napa. There is a reason they don't have a large distribution network, this wine suffered from a lack of fruit and a strong nose that included a notable alcohol scent.  This scent also translated to the palate with an almost "alcohol burn" and flavor that was devoid of fruit and texture.  Come to think of it, I believe the only reason I actually bought this wine was that they are one of the few Tasting Rooms that stay open until 6:00 pm in Napa, so when all the better wineries close at 5:00 and you really need more to drink, stumble in for a slurp.  Price $12-14.  Rating "Don't Bother"  WinoHondo

1997 Rombauer Zinfandel $$ (26.00)  This wine has a heady aroma and, as you will find out, a kick-ass alcohol content.  Soft, spicy and smooth came immediately to mind.  This was full bodied but did not have the finish that I had hoped for upon sniffing this beauty.  The back draft was tannic which stepped on the otherwise pleasant experience this wine brought to my glass.

1997 Zebra Zin $ (18.00)   A medium-bodied harshness assaulted my mouth as I drank this wine.  A pleasant aroma was present as I lifted the glass to my nose, but the drinking was not fun.  I still have a half-opened bottle at the house if anyone wants a taste.  I tried, but this is not one I would bring to friends.  



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