MLV and I went to a tasting on inexpensive moderately priced Zins over the weekend. Since most were from California, I am posting here. If the moderators think this should be moved to post-event notes or wherever, that is fine. Tasted blind, notes will be in the order we tasted -
2003 Bonny Doon Cardinal Zin -Brownish/orange hue, first thought was that it might be oxidized. Tart, astringent with almost no fruit showing. Some raisin quality but that was it. Blech!!
2003 Kangarilla Road Zin - Some red berry notes, very rustic with a rough finish. Medium alcohol and slightly tart. Not very enjoyable wine.
2004 Feudi San Marzano Primitivo -Darker in color that the prior 2 wines, perhaps some petit syrah blended in, lots of oak showing. Slightly herbal and a little brambly.
2000 Fritz Old Vine Zin - Rounder and darker fruit showing than 1-3, a little spice on the finish. Somewhat stark and austere.
2004 Ridge Paso Robles Zin - Good concentration, longer finish, some cherry liquor. Good texture. One of the better showings of the tasting.
2004 Ridge Three Valleys - Somewhat green and stemmy, medicinal, not my bag baby.
2004 Ridge Lytton Springs - Very dark color. Alcohol on the nose. Slightly off putting. Hollow mid-palate. Moderate finish. Decent wine, but balance problems.
2003 Ridge Pagani Ranch - Very dark. Slightly hot finish. Very nice Zin, decent texture. Raisiny on the finish.
2004 Ridge Ponzo Zin - Very oaky. Perhaps petite syrah blended in this one. Weak finish. Fairly smooth on the palate though.
2004 Hartford Russion River Zin - Clearly the best wine being poured. No alcohol showing. Extremely dark in color. Brambly, very balanced. Lengthy finish.
2003 Neyers Pato Vineyard Zin - Simple. Some licorice and raisin notes. MLV liked it more than me. Something on the finish was off. Ok wine.
2003 Girard Old Vine Zin - Very bright fruit. Hints of cocoa/mocha. Very nice. My notes kind of trailed off by this point.
Also were poured a 1994 Vin Santo, I did not note the produce that was very nice.
The Hartford was clearly the class of this bunch. Also showing fairly well were the Ridge Paso and Ridge Pagani and the Girard.