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CA Zin - French Oak

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  • BN1 Oct 22, 2008 08:45 PM
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I need help. I am down to my last bottle of Clayton, Old Vine, Estate, Lodi, Zinfandel and they went out of business. They used French Oak to age their wine, which my wife and I found especially enjoyable. My question is what other CA Zinfandels use only French Oak?

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  1. Rafanelli uses French oak. They make a really nice, restrained Zin that I find really delicious. My palate tends towards old-world styles. If yours does too, you may also enjoy this.

    Their wines are available to their mailing list only, and you have to send them a written request to get on the mailing list.

    http://www.arafanelliwinery.com/

    1. From searching the Robert Parker reviews database I turn up the following zins that reference use of 100% french oak for relatively recent releases ->

      Hartford
      Edmeades
      Rusden (Australian)
      Vieux-Os
      Vineyard 29
      Carlisle
      Radio Coteau
      Copain

      I can't tell you that this is true for all their zins or all vintages, but it's a good head start. Interesting to note that several of my favorite producers are on this list.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor

        The Radio Coteau is one of my favorite zins, but like many on that list, they'll be priced well above the Clayton and probably hard to find at retail depending on where you live.

        1. re: vinosnob

          That I can't help on. The Carlisle Sonoma County Zin is a wonderful botle for the $20 I got it for from their mailing list, but I suspect it is also difficult to find otherwise.

        2. re: Frodnesor

          The 2006 Emeades is available at Costco in some markets (I live in Arizona). Price is $12-14. I have always liked their wines, and this is one of our every day reds. Although 15.5% alcohol, It is middle of the road in terms of color, body and intensity. Neither the bottle nor the website (www.edmeades.com) states the origin of the oak.

          1. re: pjaym17

            The Edmeades RP reviews which mention 100% French oak are ->
            04 Perli Vineyard
            03 Ciapusci Vineyard

            Some earlier vintages are described as using combination of French and American oak.

        3. Dashe Cellars in Oakland, Ca specialize in Zins and they use only French oak.

          1. Nalle in Dry Creek Valley uses French Oak for their restrained and elegant zinfandel.

            1. Thank you all for the excellent, helpful responses.

              Incidentally, I found another: Sbragia, "Gino's Vineyard”, which we really enjoyed. In looking on the internet, I find it’s aged 20 months in new French oak.