Zinfandel, Mourvèdre/Monastrell, Carménère, WINE

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Zinfandel (also known as Primitivo) is a variety of black-skinned wine grape. The variety is grown in over 10 percent of California vineyards. DNA analysis has revealed that it is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grapes Crljenak Kaštelanski and Tribidrag, as well as to the Primitivo variety traditionally grown in PUglia (the "heel" of Italy), where it was introduced in the 18th century. The grape found its way to the United States in the mid-19th century, where it became known by variations of the name "Zinfandel", a name which is probably of Austrian origin. Zinfandel typically produces a robust red wine, as the grape's high sugar content can be fermented into levels of alcohol exceeding 15 percent

These days, Zinfandel production is largely confined to Central and Northern California, where subtle differences play out in the wines, depending on which micro-climate they come from, and the age of the vines. Zinfandel vines in California are often some of the oldest around. The most exceptional AVAs for the varietal also display their own unique character in the wines. Sonoma County has perhaps the two most recognizable Zinfandel-producing AVAs in the U.S. in the hot Dry Creek Valley and the more temperate Russian River Valley. Wines from the former tend to display intensely ripe blackberry and a zesty, peppery edge to the full-bodied texture, while the latter produces more elegantly-styled wines with a balanced, red fruit profile and lower alcohol than those from hotter regions. Paso Robles Zinfandel is known for deep, explosive fruit but with a rounder, softer texture than wines from further north.

Primitivo wines from Italy vary in style depending on where they're grown, but in almost all cases, they are far more rustic and old school than California Zinfandels, with more pronounced pepper notes as well as leathery and stewed fruit qualities from the hottest regions in the far south of the country.

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99 points Luis Gutiérrez (Wine Advocate): I often think that the Pie Franco from Casa Castillo cannot improve much more, but the 2017 Pie Franco has done it again, taking this pure Monastrell from ungrafted old vines to a new level, reflecting the sun and limestone of the estate, combining power and… ...
WA 99
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Casa Castillo Jumilla Pie Franco 2017  (#335861)

750ml
Pre-arrival, 12+ available

Mourvèdre/Monastrell from Jumilla, Spain

99 points Luis Gutiérrez (Wine Advocate): I often think that the Pie Franco from Casa Castillo cannot improve much more, but the 2017 Pie Franco has done it again, taking this pure Monastrell from ungrafted old vines to a new level, reflecting the…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
NEW ITEMPRE-ARRIVAL
95 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...complex, textbook notes of sweet red and black fruits, cedarwood, white pepper, and incense. This is a classic Zinfandel that carries loads of fruit and richness yet stays light, elegant, and graceful on the palate, with terrific purity and freshness. It’s already… ...
JD 95
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Linne Calodo Outsider Paso Robles 2016  (#335137)

750ml
In stock, 5 available

Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...complex, textbook notes of sweet red and black fruits, cedarwood, white pepper, and incense. This is a classic Zinfandel that carries loads of fruit and richness yet stays light, elegant, and graceful on the palate, with…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 5 available
98 points James Suckling: The complexity of this is something very special with dark berries, hot stone, iodine, and oyster shells. Full-bodied, very tight and polished with creamy tannins that envelop your palate, caressing every inch. Deep and dark fruit and wet earth at the finish. Drink or hold.… ...
JS 98
WS 94
WE 94
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Montes Purple Angel Colchagua Valley 2016  (#702442)

750ml
In stock, 5 available

Carménère from Colchagua Valley, Central Valley, Chile

98 points James Suckling: The complexity of this is something very special with dark berries, hot stone, iodine, and oyster shells. Full-bodied, very tight and polished with creamy tannins that envelop your palate, caressing every inch. Deep and dark…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 5 available
JS 98
WS 94
WE 94
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96 points Erin Brooks (Wine Advocate): Medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Zinfandel Giuseppe and Luisa has a wonderful nose of yellow peach preserves, apricot, boysenberry jam, cinnamon stick and warm black fruits—there are loads of fruity and spicy layers here. In the mouth, it's medium to full-bodied… ...
WA 96
AG 95
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Martinelli Zinfandel Russian River Valley Giuseppe & Luisa 2017  (#335630)

750ml
In stock, 12 available

Zinfandel from Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California

96 points Erin Brooks (Wine Advocate): Medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Zinfandel Giuseppe and Luisa has a wonderful nose of yellow peach preserves, apricot, boysenberry jam, cinnamon stick and warm black fruits—there are loads of fruity and spicy layers…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12 available
92 points Erin Brooks (Wine Advocate): ...from own-rooted vines planted in sandy soils in 1915... include[s] Refosco, Carignane and Cinsault. Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, it opens with warm peach preserves, cinnamon stick and dried leaves hints with dried red and black cherries and notes of… ...
WA 92
WS 91
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Turley Zinfandel Lodi Kirschenmann Vineyard 2017  (#335715)

750ml
In stock, 10 available

Zinfandel from Lodi, Central Valley, California

92 points Erin Brooks (Wine Advocate): ...from own-rooted vines planted in sandy soils in 1915... include[s] Refosco, Carignane and Cinsault. Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, it opens with warm peach preserves, cinnamon stick and dried leaves…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 10 available
96 points Jeb Dunnuck: I loved the 2016 Zinfandel Howell Mountain, and this beauty has everything you could want from a mountain Zinfandel. Possessing a huge perfume of blue fruits, leafy herbs, and cedarwood, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, silky tannins, and a pleasure-bent… ...
JD 96
AG 94
WA 92
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Outpost Zinfandel Napa Valley Howell Mountain 2016  (#335380)

750ml
In stock, 6 available

Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: I loved the 2016 Zinfandel Howell Mountain, and this beauty has everything you could want from a mountain Zinfandel. Possessing a huge perfume of blue fruits, leafy herbs, and cedarwood, it hits the palate with medium to full…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
JD 96
AG 94
WA 92
90 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2016 Zinfandel Forcini Vineyard is a generous, fruity wine that will drink well with minimal cellaring. Bright, salivating acids give the fruit energy. There is terrific immediacy here. The Forcini is perhaps a touch simple next to the other wines in the range… ...
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Once & Future Zinfandel Russian River Valley Forcini Vineyard 2016  (#332541)

750ml
In stock, 1 available

Zinfandel from Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California

90 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2016 Zinfandel Forcini Vineyard is a generous, fruity wine that will drink well with minimal cellaring. Bright, salivating acids give the fruit energy. There is terrific immediacy here. The Forcini is perhaps a…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
93 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): Mocha, cola, earth and caramel notes appear on the nose of the 2016 Bandol, a blend of 90% Mourvèdre and 10% Grenache. This is all dark fruit and savory nuance, full-bodied, richly concentrated, creamy and lush, yet it's chewy and tannic on the long, spicy… ...
WA 93
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Pibarnon Bandol Rouge 2016  (#335182)

750ml
In stock, 8 available

Mourvèdre/Monastrell from Bandol, Provence, France

93 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): Mocha, cola, earth and caramel notes appear on the nose of the 2016 Bandol, a blend of 90% Mourvèdre and 10% Grenache. This is all dark fruit and savory nuance, full-bodied, richly concentrated, creamy and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 8 available
93 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2015 Zinfandel El Diablo is best described as a field blend planted with numerous red and white varieties. Exotic and intense, with ripeness pushed to the edge, the Diablo possesses superb depth. Inky dark cherry, menthol, lavender and rose petal nuances add… ...
AG 93
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Day Zinfandel Russian River Valley El Diablo Vineyard 2015  (#330926)

750ml
In stock, 2 available

Zinfandel from Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California

93 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2015 Zinfandel El Diablo is best described as a field blend planted with numerous red and white varieties. Exotic and intense, with ripeness pushed to the edge, the Diablo possesses superb depth. Inky dark…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
90-93 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2016 Zinfandel DuPratt Vineyard is bright and very nicely focused, with tons of aromatic lift and fine overall persistence. Lavender, mint, spice and dark cherry abound in this mid-weight, supremely elegant Zinfandel. The DuPratt is classy, understated and… ...
AG 90-93
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Carlisle Zinfandel Mendocino Ridge DuPratt Vineyard 2016  (#331949)

750ml
In stock, 4 available

Zinfandel from Mendocino, North Coast, California

90-93 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2016 Zinfandel DuPratt Vineyard is bright and very nicely focused, with tons of aromatic lift and fine overall persistence. Lavender, mint, spice and dark cherry abound in this mid-weight, supremely elegant…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
92 points Wine Spectator: Features briary notes in spades, plus vibrant black raspberry, cracked pepper and anise flavors. Best from 2019 through 2027. 370 cases made. (4/30/18) ...
WS 92
RP 90-92
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Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma Valley Rossi Ranch 2015  (#331091)

750ml
In stock, 12+ available

Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California

92 points Wine Spectator: Features briary notes in spades, plus vibrant black raspberry, cracked pepper and anise flavors. Best from 2019 through 2027. 370 cases made. (4/30/18)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
Not yet reviewed; 2015 vintage rated 95 points by Wine & Spirits: ...[The] 2015 is sunny and generous in fragrant berry fruit, but it also radiates freshness. The flavors feel like they are delivered by herb-scented breeze, they so subtly and gently fill the head with fragrance. Mourvèdre’s power… ...
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Tempier Bandol 2016  (#333312)

750ml
In stock, 4 available

Not yet reviewed; 2015 vintage rated 95 points by Wine & Spirits: ...[The] 2015 is sunny and generous in fragrant berry fruit, but it also radiates freshness. The flavors feel like they are delivered by herb-scented breeze, they so subtly and gently…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
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