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bonterra zinfandel

Zinfandel – an absolute age since I’ve slurped on one. Hardly needing an excuse of course but this months Wine Blogging Wednesday has the mighty red one as the theme. Sonadora has designated August the 12th as I Have Zinned Day. You might have noticed that I’m actually writing this on the 16th… I’m hoping the Zin-girl is relaxed with late entries!

Not a huge amount of choice locally. Waitrose had two, one from Ravenswood and this organic bottling from Bonterra encased in a heavy-weight tapered bottle. Neither were exactly cheap but better than offering nothing as the local Threshers managed…

Red Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Bonterra Vineyards Zinfandel, 2007, Mendocino County, California.

Price: £10.99 from Waitrose [More on Adegga / Snooth]
A top note of cedar and sharp red berries; but overall the mouth-feel is smooth, very gentle tannins with a blur of pepper, spice, red berries and a blueberry flourish. American in style – rounded, slightly sweet fruit, high alcohol on the finish, a hint of tannin. Finished, I thought, a little on the short side. Alcohol 14.5%.
Scribblings Rating – 86/100 [3.25 out of 5]

On the food matching front this doesn’t really take; a simple steak short-crust pie should have been more than wine-friendly. It is, I think, that the palate is adjusted to a more European styled wine. A combination of texture, tannin, acidity, sophisticated and integrated fruit – something this Zinfandel does lacks, or rather does in an alternatve way. A way though that doesn’t meld.

“We honor the land by farming organically, creating rich soils providing healthy vines an opportunity to deliver wonderfully flavored fruit. In every sip, you’ll taste
our natural commitment and understand why we believe organic farming creates wines of great taste and excitement, among the very best you’ll experience. David Koball, Vineyard Steward”


  1. Sonadora says:

    Thanks for participating! Happy to take a Wine Blogging Sunday entry! Sorry you Zin wasn’t quite up to snuff. I imagine not a lot of it gets exported to England.

  2. Tim says:

    Thanks for posting this – I’ve been wondering what it was like. I’m a big fan of Bonterra’s Chardonnay, it’s the best one I’ve tried for under £10. The rosé is not bad either (but expensive).

  3. If you get to try this one Tim, please do let me know what you think… a little pricey? a little unstructured? or just deliciously drinkable?

  4. Tim says:

    I usually find Zinfandel to have a tomato-like character that I don’t like. It’s been awhile since I’ve had it though – maybe I’ll give it a try next time it’s on offer…:-)

  5. I often find a savoury-tomato dimension to aged Rioja; one I realy like. Different I guess from the edge you dislike in a Zin…

  6. Tim says:

    Funny you mention that – I had a 1998 Vina Pomal Rioja Reserva (Majestic) the other day, and it had a very strong tomato-character. I didn’t enjoy the wine at all – I put it up to being too warm (both the wine and the room temperature – probably about 25C). I decided not to blog about it and try it again when it cools down.
    I’ve never noticed that characteristic in Rioja before – interesting thanks for mentioning that.

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