Californication – Now Zinfandel!

By Gerardo Corleone –Yesterday I posted my reviews on the Californian Chardonnays and now the Zinfandels. Zinfandel is genetically identical to Primitivo from Puglia and shows a lot of character in some Califonian sub regions. In a pair of three I tasted Zinfandels from different price categories. I began my tasting with the cheapest and ended it with most expensive one.

The Woodbridge Zinfandel by famous producer Robert Mondavi costs under 10 € and a classical entry-level Zinfandel. Fruitforward in the bouquet with ripe plums, morello cherries and hints of cinammon and vanilla. Uncomplicated appearance on the palate – again lots of baking spices and a hint of sour cherry freshness (acidity). Really defensive tannins show up in the finish and make it even easier to drink. 13.5 alcohol by volume? I don’t smell or taste it! Not bad at all, but I have to admit that you get better wines from Puglia in this price category.

Rating: 11/20 – Average Zinfandel even in this price range!

Next one! This time from the Ravenswood Winery which is known for its really interesting red wines. The Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi opens with lots of jammy red and black fruit with some smokey hints of roasted sage and french oak. Medium bodied with lots of extract and some grainy tannins hit the palate. Smooth mouthfeel with flavours of amarena juice, crushed black berries and wood. Medium long, but always elegant also in the finish. Again with lots of berries and smokey flavours. Good one – definitely a crowd pleaser and for under 14 € it is also not too expensive. One to try!

Rating: 12+/20 – Good wine and perfect for Zinfandel beginners!

For around 30 € the Seghesio Zinfandel from Sonoma was the most expensive one in this tasting and in my opinion it was also the best Zinfandel of this tasting. This is in fact one of the flagship products by this 4th Generation winery. The bouquet shows intensive aromas of black cherries, rose petals, dried prunes and lovely notes of dark chocolate and vanilla. Silky-smooth on the palate with lots of ripe red fruit and a well fitting touch of wood. The acidity prevents it from being too jammy/concentrated and pairs well with the grainy-dusty tannins. Also the alcohol (15 abv) is well integrated and does only evoke a sligtly sweetish feeling on the palate. Pretty long and persistent finish – again dried berries and some cherry liquer with a dash of oak. For 30 € it is not cheap for sure, but if you want to know how good Zinfandel can be then please try this!

Rating: 15.5/20 – Really good wine and something for Cali maniacs and connoisseurs!


You can find all wines at – here are the URLs: