Longtime readers and listeners know about my love of Zinfandel. In fact, the most reviewed varietal here is this California transplant from the Old World. My love for Zinfandel started right when I got into wine in 1982. Most of the first wines I tried were either from Napa Valley (Cabs and Merlot) or Bordeaux (indifferent bottlings of third rate wine). While I liked some of what I was drinking, I gravitated toward wines with more fruit. Then I had a Zinfandel from Lytton Springs Vineyard. This was before Ridge bought them and I was hooked. Sebastiani Zinfandel became my house wine for all of $2.50 a bottle; ah, the good old days…
Aside from Ridge and Sebastiani another name stood out for Zin in my formative wine years: Foppiano. A family winery for more than 100 years, this Sonoma winery produces some of the best Petite Sirah and Cabernet in Sonoma. I’ve also enjoyed their Zinfandel over the years but have not had the opportunity to taste a recent vintage until they sent me some samples recently. And I’m glad they did as this is one of the better Zins under $20 now in wide release.
Foppiano Vineyards, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley 2004 ($15/sample) – Medium purple in color with aromas of blackberry, black raspberry, fennel and vanilla. Nice dark cherry and blackberry fruit flavors with cracked black pepper and moderate tannins. Textbook, old-school Sonoma Zin.
Natural cork closure