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Red Zinfandel      May 11 , 2002

According to The Oxford Companion to Wine copyright 1999:
   "Zinfandel is an exotic black grape variety of European origin cultivated predominately in California that has tended to mirror the giddily changing fashions of the American wine business."
   The vine was imported, possibly unnamed, to the USA from the Austrian imperial nursery in Vienna by George Gibbs of Long Island, probably in 1829."
   Many of those who participated in the California Gold Rush of 1849 turned to agriculture... In 1862 the Secretary of the Sonoma Horticultural Society gave some wine made from these grapes to a French Winemaker working in California who reported that it tasted like a 'good French Claret'."
   ...DNA Fingerprinting... has demonstrated that it is one and the same as Primitivo of Southern Italy..."
   Although Zinfandel has been required to transform itself into virtually every style and color of wine that exists, it is best suited to dry, sturdy, unsubtle, but vigorous reds with an optimum lifespan of four to eight years."
   From Dirck & Larry's announcement.

From the Bottle Label
1 2000 Beaulieu Vinyard Coastal $12 Better than expected. A little olive oily like Pinot Noir.
2 1999 Rabit Ridge Barrel Cuvell $12 Spicy, burnt cinimon. Could use more acid.
3 1999 DeLoach California Zinfandel A little moldy, perhaps too much acid.
4 1999 Roseblum Pasa Robles Richard Sauret Vinyards $20 Rich and peppery. Very nice. "This is how Zin should taste." Currents and tannin. Chocolate hints in the nose. Age a few years. Most thought it was the best.
5 1999 EOS Paso Robles $16 Nice balance, ready to drink. Dryer trhan #4. Lots of flavor, lots of fruit after breathing.
6 1999 VanTine Bond Street Cellars (homemade) Peppery, a bit astringent. Needs to age a few years?
7 1999 Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Heritage Vines $12 A little too much tanin? Smooth, good body, dark color.
8 1998 Sonoma Creek $14 Differing opinions: sulfite or metallic, not much body, or some found it very nice.
9 1999 Francis Coppola Diamond Series Red Label $16 Smooth, tasts a lot like Cabernet, perhaps needs to age a few years since much tannin, but not enough fruit to be hopeful that aging will help.
10 1998 Rancho Zabaco Dry Creek Valley $15 Nice nose and color, lots of tannin but not objectionable. Rich. Almost too smooth. Banana aroma. Not as good as #4.
11 1997 Buehler Vinyards $14 Ok, no pepper, a litttle acidy. Don't age.
12 1997 GooseCross Dry Creek $28 Clear red color, nice nose (strawberry). Very nice, drinkable, hints of pinor noir. But compared to others, not much character.