Tasting #139 November 15, 2012 – Zinfandel at the Da Domenico

Tasting #139   November 15, 2012 – Zinfandel  at the Da Domenico


  • 1. Presenters, Participants and Birthdays
  • 2. Menu and Wines
  • 3. Information on the Wines
  • 4. La Uva Zinfandel, Alfonso Sanchez
  • 5. Zinfandel
  • 6. Old Vine

1. Presenters, Participants and Birthdays

The presenters of this tasting are Ginger Smart and Ruth Connoly

Participants of the Tasting:      Alfonso Sanchez,  Wilson Moreira,  Cecilio-Augusto Berndsen,  Alfonso Caycedo,  Alvaro Lopez,  Hugo Benito,  Juan Luis Colaiacovo,  Italo Mirkow,  Ginger Smart,  Ruth Connolly,  Marcelo Averbug,  Mario Aguilar,  Jaime Estupinan,  Clara Estrada,  Ricardo Zavaleta  and  Jorge Garcia-Garcia, invited by M. Averbug.

Birthdays of the Month:  Mario Aguilar  1st, Hugo Benito 12th., and Bernardo Gluch 28th..


2. Menu and Wines

1st. wine. Aperitif:  2010  Michel Gassier  Costieres de Nimes Nostre Pais Blanc, APV 14%

2sd. vine:  2010 Sobon Estate Zinfanfel Old Vines, APV 14.9%   with:      Salsicce alla San Genaro.        Traditional Italian Sausages oven roasted with sweet Peppers, Onions & rich Tomato sauce served over Crostini.

3rd. wine:    2010  St Amant Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi,     with    Meatballs with cream sauce and Spaguetti.

4th. wine:  2009  Old Vine Zinfandel  Seghesio Family Wineyards   with choice of     Grilled Pork Chops    or   Grilled Chicken.

Dessert:      Tiramisu or  Mango Sorbet


3. Information on the Wines

1st wine – Aperitivo-         2010  Michel Gassier  Costieres de Nimes Nostre Pais Blanc,  80%  Granache,  10% Roussanne, 10% Viognier. Southern Rhone, France.  APV: 14%    $ 20

Rating: Robert Parker 93pts,  April 30, 2012 Wine Spectator 90pts

Blend White Wine. Aged 6 months in French Oak Description: notes of acacia flowers, honeysuckle, white peach, quince and pineapple  the intense aromatics are followed by a full-bodied, exuberant, dry white wine

It comes across as a top-flight white Chateauneuf… Robert Parkers Wine Advocate.  A Proprietary Blend wine from Languedoc Roussillon in France.                                                                                                 Note from the Presenters: Please request any further details on this wine from Rene Meza as his group ordered this wine to be used last meeting and it didn’t arrive on time. Many thanks to him for offering to sale it to us for this months use.

2nd wine:      2010 Sobon Estate Zinfanfel Old Vines, 3% Petite Shirah. Sobon Estate, Plymouth, Amador Co., California. APV  14.9%    $ 14 (Total Wine McLean)

Producer Description: Intense, Blackberry,Spice, Medium-bodied. This is a fragrant, rich, full bodied zin with very forward, fruit driven flavors. It is  meant for everyday drinking, but will improve with up to five years of bottle age. It  is a blend of several of our old zinfandel vineyards. An excellent match for grilled meats & pasta dishes.

89 Points! “Juicy and bright with spice, bramble and wild respberry fruit; tangy, long and ripe but nicely balanced and fresh.”- June 2012, The Tasting Panel

3rd wine   2010  St Amant Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi,   Zinfandel,  Amant Winery. Lodi, C. Vale, California.  APV:  15.5%.   $19.99 (Total Wine,  McLean)

Producer Description: Fresh, Raspberry, Blackberry, Medium-bodied.

St.Amant is a small family owned winery founded in 1979 by Tim and Barbara Spencer. Located in Lodi, California we pride ourselves in producing handcrafted wines of superb quality. We strive to create fruit-forward food-friendly delicious wines, and firmly believe that wine, first and foremost, is a beverage of pleasure, best enjoyed with family and friends.ily owned winery founded in 1979 by Tim and Barbara Spencer. Located in Lodi, California we pride ourselves in producing handcrafted wines of superb quality. We strive to create fruit-forward food-friendly delicious wines, and firmly believe that wine, first and foremost, is a beverage of pleasure, best enjoyed with family and friends.

Mike Dunne of the Sacramento Bee recently reviewed the 2010 St. Amant Winery Lodi Marian Old Vine Zinfandel.   Mar. 28, 2012        “I tasted the 2010 alongside the 2009, and found the same sort of authority, sunshine, balance and length in both. In their depth and breadth, they are classic Lodi zinfandels, reflecting the appellation’s rich soils, abundant sunshine and alternating warm days and cool night.”


4th wine:  2009  Old Vine Zinfandel  Seghesio Family Wineyards, 100% Zinfandel,  Sonoma, California. APV: 15%  $31.99  (Total Wine, McLean)

Producer Description:  Intense, Blackberry, Cherry, Spice, Full-bodied.  Deeply perfumed aromas of dark berries and old vine Zin’s intrinsic briary spiciness. Layered bright fruit flavors reminiscent of a rich berry pie with a toasted crust. Old vine Zinfandel’s complex spice undertones. Low yields in the vineyard preserved the vibrant natural acidity and balanced tannins. Long, persistent finish. Pair with beef, barbecue, spicy cuisine and French bleu cheeses.

94 points Wine Enthusiast

Wine Spectator:   Ripe but well-structured, with wild berry and licorice aromas and rich, layered flavors of plum and smoked pepper that are balanced with a great backbone of acidity and tannins. Drink now through 2017.   Score: 92. —Tim Fish, December 31, 2011.



Alfonso Sanchez

La uva Zinfandel es la uva de California por excelencia en donde se ha adaptado

Alfonso Sanchez

maravillosamente.  Los estudios genéticos la identifican como una mutación de la Crijenak originaria de Croacia.  Algunos dicen que descienden de la uva Primitivo Italiana pero las pruebas dan que la Zinfandel y la Primitivo son ambas mutaciones de la primera aunque aún hay alguna discusión.

Es una uva sumamente versátil que puede producir desde vinos dulzones de baja calidad hasta vinos de calidad sobresaliente.  Por ejemplo en los 80s se empezó a producir el Zinfandel Blanco en California  y muchos creían que había una variedad blanca de esa uva pero no es así.  Este vino se producía minimizando el contacto del jugo con la cáscara de la uva resultando así un vino rosado claro.  Los tintos de alta calidad de la Zinfandel son producidos con las mejores técnicas y resultan en sabores intensos a frutas rojas y negras, especiados  y de gran cuerpo.  Pueden hacerse vinos parecidos al tipo Bujolais hasta vinos fuertes en alcohol que recuerdan el Oporto pasando por estilos parecidos al Cabernet que envejecen bien.  La versatilidad de la uva hace pues que el enólogo tenga una gran flexibilidad en su manejo y por lo tanto la calidad depende de su pericia y gustos.

La uva es resistente, de producción alta y vigorosa y le gustan los climas cálidos por lo que alcanza altos grados de azúcar y por ende alcohol.  Su manejo en el viñedo es difícil por que los racimos son muy apretados y puede enfermarse con hongos.  Además las uvas tienden a madurar disparejas aún en el mismo racimo.  Esta tendencia se agrava con el mal manejo del agua.  La cosecha tiene que hacerse frecuentemente en varios pases por el viñedo para los vinos de calidad y por ello tienden a ser un poco costoso cuando se comparan con calidades equivalentes de otras variedades.

Debido a su resistencia hay viñedos de mas de 100 años de antigüedad en varis partes del mundo.  Su cultivo se ha extendido a Sur África, Sur América y Australia principalmente.

Los vinos tienden a perder su fruta a partir de los tres o cuatro años y quedan sabores especiados y el alcohol tiende a hacerse más pronunciado y menos característicos de esta uva.  Por ello se recomienda beberlos entre los tres y cinco años de envejecimiento en la botella.  Son excelentes para acompañar asados y paltos fuertes como el estofado de cordero.


5.  Zinfandel

by:    Wine-Searcher.com

Zinfandel (or ‘Zin’as it is affectionately known in its American homelands) is a dark-skinned red wine grape variety widely cultivated in California. It arrived in the Americas from Europe in the early years of the 19th century, and was an immediate success in its Napa and Sonoma strongholds. It wasn’t until DNA research was carried out in California in the 1990s that the variety was confirmed (as had long been suspected) to be Italy’s Primitivo under a different name, or Crljenak Kastelanski, originally from Croatia’s Adriatic coast.

Zinfandel has been used to make various styles of wine since it arrived in the United States, including dry and sweet red wines and the famous ‘White Zinfandel‘ blush, created to cater for a white wine-drinking American consumer base of the 1970s. The arrival of this new wine style in the early 1970s led to an explosion of Zinfandel plantings – perhaps ironic given that the style of wine was created to find a use for the swathes of under used Zinfandel vines already in existence.

By the 1990s the popularity of dry red Zinfandel had given these plantings a new raison d’etre, although they were still being used to generate many millions of liters of sweet pink blush every year. Today red Zinfandel has risen to become the signature wine of the United States, not due to the quality of wine it produces, but because it is as close to an ‘American’ variety as vinifera vines get. The discovery that it was an Italian variety in disguise led to mixed reactions, including pride at the association with a prestigious wine nation, but also a certain uneasiness that Zinfandel had lost some of its American individuality.

Outside the United States the variety is grown in South Africa and Australia, where it has been bottled as both Zinfandel and Primitivo. It hasn’t acquired any particular significance in either of these countries – more a product of a few key producers than an independent grape variety. (Also, as Australia has a developed a strong tradition in Shiraz, there is little motivation to bring in and develop a similar variety to compete with it.) Cape Mentelle in Margaret River has taken up the reins as an Australian pioneer of Zinfandel, and has made a name for its Cape Mentelle Zinfandel.

Primitivo’s star is rising once again in Italy – as evidenced by the promotion of Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale to DOCG status. A number of Californian vineyards (mostly those of Italian heritage) already label their Zinfandel wines as Primitivo, a fashion which may or may not catch on.

The variety also known as Crljenak Kasteljanski is used to make deeply colored, full-bodied red wines along the Adriatic coast of Croatia. It was once believed to be identical to the Plavac Mali variety, which also grows in Croatia’s coastal vineyards. DNA has shown that Plavac is in fact a natural crossing between Crljenak Kasteljanski and Dobricic. To add to the list of synonyms, in inland Croatia, Crljenak has also been known as Pribidrag and Tribidrag.

Synonymns include: Primitivo.

Related blends include: Petite Sirah – ZinfandelPetite Sirah – Syrah – Zinfandel.

Food and wine matching suggestions:
Europe: Puglian spit-roasted lamb; Balkan beef kebab (cevapi)
Asia: Beetroot curry (thel-dala) (red and rosé)
Americas: East Texas-style barbecue; Chilean stewed lentils with bacon (lentejas con tocino)
Australasia/Oceania: Rosemary-crusted roasted lamb with red-currant jelly

Published by Wine-Searcher.com | Last updated 26-Sep-2012 by 


6.  Old Vine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Old vine (Frenchvieilles vignesGermanalte Reben) is a term commonly used on wine labels to indicate that a wine is the product of grape vines that are notably old. The practice of displaying it stems from the general belief that older vines, when properly handled, will give a better wine.[1] However, in France, the U.S., and most countries, it has no legal or even generally agreed upon definition.

Grape vines can grow for over 120 years. After about 20 years vines start to produce smaller crops, and average yields decrease, leading to more concentrated, intense wines.[1] Diseases such as “dead arm” can also afflict old vines, in some cases further concentrating the juice. “Old vines” might apply to an entire estate, or it might mean only a certain parcel planted before others. In the U.S., the most common use is on Zinfandel, because in California vineyards up to 125 years old are still bearing small amounts of prized Zinfandel fruit.

In a place where wine production is longstanding, it often means a wine whose vines are thirty to forty years old. Some wine makers insist the vines should be older than this. In newly-established wine regions, twenty years might be old. The definition is further complicated by the fact that certain varieties simply do not have economically viable yields when they get truly ancient.


Wine Mouth to Mouth


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