I’m back across the street at Starbuck’s after 6 hours of tasting and wanted to post a short note on my first impressions of this years ZAP tasting.
I had high hopes that my new strategy of tasting on the floor during the trade tasting then switching to the media lounge would allow me to taste over 100 wines like uber wine blogger Alder of Vinography (who, unfortunately, missed the tasting sick with the flu; get well soon, man). That proved not to be the case as I tasted and reviewed “only” 70 wines today. I think this was due to my pacing, longer conversations at the tables and how crowded it was but overall I’m very pleased with the result, as I didn’t taste any marginal wines this time. In fact, nearly all of them were very good or excellent with styles ranging from elegant to hedonistic fruit bombs.
In order of tasting, here is my first cut at standouts; full reviews later in my full roundup:
- Chase Family Cellars, Zinfandel, Hayne Vineyard, Reserve 2004 ($75)
- Carlisle Winery, Zinfandel, Pietro’s Ranch 2005 ($38)
- Robert Biale Vineyards, Zinfandel, Grande 2005
- Benessere, Zinfandel, Black Glass Estate Vineyard 2004 ($40)
- Ballentine Vineyards, Zinfandel, Pocai Vineyard, Block 11 2005 ($25)
- August Briggs, Zinfandel, Napa Valley 2004 ($30)
- Downing Family Vineyards, Pelissa Vineyard, “Fly by Night” 2004 ($30)
- Dashe Cellars, Zinfandel, Louvau Vineyard, “Old Vines” 2004 ($28)
- Dashe Cellars, Zinfandel, Todd Brothers Ranch, “Old Vines” 2004 ($28)
- Hendry, Zinfandel, Block 28, Napa Valley 2003 ($30)
- Turley Wine Cellars, Zinfandel, Hayne Vineyard 2005 (Barrel Sample/$75)
- Trinitas Cellars, Zinfandel, Russian River Valley 2004 ($26)
- Edmeades Winery, Zinfandel, Perli Vineyard, Mendocino 2004
I’m sure I missed a couple wines here but will present my full notes and scores for every wine I tasted in tomorrow’s post.
Now it’s off for dinner and hopefully some Pinot Noir