Cline, “Ancient Vines” Zinfandel, California 2003 ($11) – Garnet color, boysenberry nose with some oak, “thick” plum, blackberry and oak flavors with moderate tannins and a long finish. An excellent value, tasting as good as wines at twice it’s price. Score: 8.5/10
Seghesio, Zinfandel, Sonoma County 2003 ($17) – Dark garnet, intense plum and current aromas with oak, jammy blackberry flavors — almost over the top ripeness at 14.9% alcohol — but somehow pulls off a nice, long finish of plum and oak. Medium tannins complete the package nicely. Delicious now but good for 4-5 more years in the cellar. A wine that tastes as good as some Ridge bottlings at 2-3 times it’s price. Score: 9/10.
Ravenswood, Zinfandel, Sonoma County 2002 ($20) – Garnet, blackberry nose, rustic fruit flavors with firm tannins, opens up a bit after some time in the glass, but this needs another year or two in the cellar or at the very least, to be decanted. Score: 8/10
Ravenswood, Zinfandel, Lodi 2002 ($17) – Ruby color, dusty berry nose, rich bramble and blackberry flavors with moderate tannins, nice balance for a 14.5% wine; Very good. Score: 8/10
Kempton Clark, “Mad Zin”, Zinfandel, California 2001 ($11) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Garnet with purple edges, strong currant and blackberry aromas with a touch of oak, plum and blackberry flavors with firm tannins. A bit hot and raisony on the finish. Good now, but will reward a couple years in the cellar. A bit disappointing after tasting the Petite Sirah earlier. Score 7.5/10