This Gallo brand excels with Zinfandel, as this brilliant single-vineyard effort demonstrates. It explodes with focused, intense berry fruit, beautifully accented with oak that lends coffee, chocolate and hints of tar. Accents ring through the harmonious finish, with tobacco, cedar and coconut among them. Editors’ Choice.
A mere 174 cases of this wine were produced. It shares the essence of the ’03 Monte Rosso Zin, reviewed below, but is richer and more concentrated, as well as much higher in alcohol, pushing 16%. Thoroughly dry, with flavors of coffee, dried blackberries, bitter chocolate and cloves, this is a complex, impressive wine.
The Toreador bottling represents the best Zin winemaker Eric Cinnamon can make from the vineyard. So far, it’s been a complex, ageworthy wine, and the ’05 continues that tradition. Despite high alcohol, the wine is balanced, with firm tannins framing flavors of dried cherries and blackberries, pomegranates, red currants, leather, dark chocolate, briary nettles and…
Plush and richly textured, the wine serves up a broad array of dark, rich coffee, chocolate, black plum, black cherry, mocha, spice, cedar, herb and toast flavors. It’s velvety smooth on the palate and offers an elegant, long finish.
Here’s a big, tannic Zinfandel from a premier vineyard now owned by Gallo. The flavors are bigtime, offering an eruption of blackberries, currants, spiced rum punch, chocolate and licorice. Think of it as Zinfandel on steroids. Calls for equally hefty barbecue, but also has the structure to age interestingly over the next six years, at least.
Gallo’s Rancho Zabaco has done a fine job with single-vineyard Zins. This one is an excellent wine, dry, balanced and with the structure of Merlot, with firm tannins encasing berry, earth, coffee and anise flavors.
I really like this wine, which in so many ways is classic Sonoma Zin. It’s dry and full-bodied, with sturdy tannins and ripe, forward Zin flavors that finish in a swirl of spicy fruit. It’s also high in acidity, which is perfect to cut through meaty fats, butter, olive oil and cheese.
The main thing to know about this wine is it has extraordinarily high alcohol, 16.8%. That gives it a hot, peppery mouthfeel, and also the impression of sweetness, although it’s actually dry. The flavors of raspberries, cola, red currants and bacon are explosive. It’s a wine people will love or not, but it is a very fine expression of its style.