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Dec 10, 2007 11:40 AM

Need help (Red Zinfandel)

Unfortunately I don't know as much about wine yet as I would like. I need some help. I have someone who I know really likes Red Zinfandel wine and was hoping you gus/girls could help me in choosing a bottel or more for a Christmas gift. Anything $100 or under per bottle.

Thanks so much in advance. Any help I can get is greatly appreciated.

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  1. You need not spend anywhere near that much to buy a truly EXCELLENT bottle of Zinfandel.

    Check out

    -- Ridge Vineyards
    -- Storybrook Mountain
    -- Storrs Winery
    -- Dashe Vineyards
    -- Carol Shelton Wines
    -- Robert Biale http://www.robertbialevineyards/
    -- A.Rafanelli

    . . . among many, many others.

    3 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      you could stick with the 3 r's of zin(ravenswood, rosenblum & ridge) and get a bottle of all three for $100. if he really collects zin, he may be happy to get a bottle of turley that could set you back $100.

      1. re: TBird

        Ever since Ravenswood was acquired by Constellation, I think their quality has fallen off. Rather substantially.

        Rosenblum is quite good . . . if you like their style.

        1. re: zin1953

          I tend to agree, especially the single vineyard wines. The low-end Zins still seem to pack a fair value, but I find myself reaching for Rosenblum at about the same price-point.

          I talked to Joel Petterson some time back, just after the release of the buyout news, and he indicated that they were not going to source from some old-time suppliers, but were working on deals with some new ones.

          I still miss the Beloni-Woodroad and the Dickerson (may he RIP), and have not been bowled over with some of these new properties. I think that Joel is still the winemaker, but I'd also guess that things are much, much different now.

          We normally pick up a case of the VB, and use it for cooking, and drinking, while cooking. I'm still working on my last case, so have not tried the recent release, but hope that it is still a serviceable red.

          For my $, I'd go with the Ridge, Biale, and Rafanelli, but your list looks quite good to me. Also, as you might recall, I'm a Turley fan too. However, I had an '05 Dusi Ranch last night with Kona espresso-rubbed tenderloin, and it seemed top-heavy on the alcohol front. I had it poured at the table,, early on, and it did come around. At home, I'd have decanted this puppy for maybe an hour. I've had the '03 & '04 Dusi recently, and none showed quite like this '05. Still lucious, but a bit out-of-balance, even for me.


    2. For one of the best Zins for the money go with Klinker Brick Old Ghost. It is at the Wine House for around $34. It is an old vine zin with limited production and has a lot more character than the Ridge or ravenswoods that I have had.

      1. Turley Dusi Ranch (if you can locate it at retail) is outstanding.

        1. Hi CJL...

          Here's what you do, since you're looking for a really fine gift for a zin lover. Go to your best wine vendor(s) and ask for the following only:

          RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY of Sonoma County: 2001, 2002, or especially the incredible 2004's. In fact, if you can only pick one zin, you can't do better than the '04 RRV's.

          DRY CREEK: Ditto, the 2004's are incredible

          PASO ROBLES: 2002, 2003, and especially the 2004's

          NAPA: 2002, 2003, 2004

          Note these are regions, not specific wineries. Take the list to your vendor(s) and ask them what the best they have in your price range from these vintage years.

          These giffts will be very much appreciated :)

          1. I love Ravenswood Zinfandel - have not found any decrese in quality lately.

            2 Replies
            1. re: emilief

              Really? I don't buy it any more. But just goes to show, tastes differ.

              1. re: cmkdvs

                I also used to drink Ravenswood a lot, but don't buy it anymore. I'm not sure whether it changed or I did (likely both).