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47 NEW ZINS Tasted!

Links to Wineries

Tasting Notes

Welcome! The Story Behind this Website.

Every so often I go on a Zinfandel kick. This started back around 1970 when a friend of mine, Steve Brown and myself put together a tasting of about 45 Zins from all over the state to find one wine we should all buy. That wine was the 1968 Gemello Zinfandel specially aged in Nevers Oak as cited on the label. This was one of the earliest french oak experiments in California. The winery also had a regular Zin and one aged in Limosin. Unfortunately this winery was later sold to less serious winemakers and that was the end of one of the last great Santa Clara County wineries. Over the years I have had numerous great zinfandels but of late the last great wine was the Caymus 1990 Zinfandel. Since then it's been spotty. I keep hearing about this Zin or that Zin that crop up at various tastings and never see daylight on a store shelf. I'm not impressed by a $50 Zinfandel that you can't even buy. There has to be something everyone can find which is a good drink representative of the best the Zin grape has to offer. The fact is that most Zinfandel sold today is undrinakable crap.

So in March of 1998 I embarked on a hunt for the great Zins and decided to post my notes for Zin lovers around the world. I'll probably taste with meals as many as five Zins a week until I get sick of them or give up on the project. My tasting skills are not amateurish, so if you have a good palate my notes should match your taste. While I do mass tastings of wines with the rest of the world, I'm trying to minimize that in these tastings. Comparison tastings will be listed separately. The main list will be wines that are drunk at a meal, not wines tasted in a group. The results are usually different when you drink a wine at a meal rather than taste it and spit it out at a tasting event. Few professionals will argue with this premise. This problem is even more pronounced with Zins because the high-alcohol wines found in comparison tastings overwhelm and numb the palate.

Some people have a skewed taste in wine and I'll try to describe the wines in enough detail so you can perhaps pick a style that agrees with you. I've been drinking zinfandels from over 30 vintages and have a good perspective on this wine and know what a good one should taste like. -- John C. Dvorak


How to use this site and what to expect from it.

This site will be updated quarterly with new tasting notes and new drinking notes. I have been known to throw in gratuitous updates, so check in every month or so. I'll send a notice to the ZAP-O-Gram when something important is posted on here such as the SF Wine Competition tasting notes.

The main links are winery links which are very complete. For other Zin links I think the Zin Zealot does the best job. This site specializes in tasting notes and winery links.


entire website copyright (c) 1998 by John C. Dvorak