Over the years I have grown very fond of Zinfandel. Let me be clear: I’m talking about “real” Zinfandel, not the awful “White Zin” you see in boxes, jugs, and on many grocery store shelves. Zinfandel is also called Primitivo in Italy, and is supposed to be a hearty, robust red wine that can often compete with Cabernet in depth and complexity.
This week’s feature is the 2010 Old Vines Zinfandel from Sonoma’s St. Francis Winery, coincidentally the consensus favorite of the three wines sampled at our last Wine Wednesday Tasting Party at the Old Grist Mill Tavern. The best Zinfandels are a smooth combination of ripe fruit and spice, and this one is no exception.
Pleasing aromas of black cherry jam and oak open up to ripe fruit flavors and a hint of vanilla, with a dry, peppery finish that provides nice balance. This wine got 89 points from Wine Spectator and a handful of gold and silver medals in various worldwide competitions. At around $15 it’s a great value, and pairs well with just about any meat or cheese dish.
On my five cork scale based on taste and value I give the 2010 St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel four corks!