Storrs Winery Zinfandel Reserve 1997.

Full-blown and over the top. I loved it. Incredible extraction and depth of fruit. intense port like nose with hints of licorice,new oak and blueberry. flavors of late harvest, ripe berries, blueberry and vanilla bean. This Zinfandel has a touch of residual sugar to accent it’s massive mouth-feel. Finishes long and proud. If you like the dry late harvest style Zinfandel seek this one out. $35

Storrs Winery Zinfandel Lion Oaks Vineyard, Santa Clara 1997.

Very rich Zinfandel. This wine screams with heavy, overripe fruit. Again these Zinfandels are not for the weak at heart. Flavors of blackberry and blueberry extract. not jammy just powerful. Fully oaked and port-like. $28

Turley Wine Cellars Zinfandel Dogtown Vineyard, Lodi, 1998.

One of the most impressive of the 98’s tasted at the ZAPP tasting. With its huge extraction of black fruit and bitter chocolate, followed by a hint of tar and petrol. Very well balanced in its youth showing great potential for later release. Very good.

Aida Zinfandel, Aida Vineyard, St. Helena 1997.

Among the better Zinfandels tasted this year. Initial, pleasant herbal notes of menthol. Totally luscious mouthfeel, very decadent and silky texture. Flavors of plum and blueberry prevail. In translating my notes from paper to web page, I noticed I actually wrote YUMMY. What more do you need to know? $37.

Howell Mountain Vineyards, Old Vine Zinfandel, Howell Mountain 1998.

Definately on of the more elegant 98′ in the show. Most interesting nose of tropical fruit and spice almost a pineapple and raspberry scent. Crisp acidity with very well balanced fruit make this a very drinkable and thoughtful Zinfandel. Have this with “Wine People”. $N/A

Jessup Cellars Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma 1998.

At first glance not much color, very clean and light in appearance. Medium-bodied and shows nice medium fruit, raspberry and unripe black fruit. Good but not great. $28

Jessup Cellars Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma 1997.

Forward nose of bramble fruit and wild berry almost “Paso” nose. Rich oak influence blanched with licorice and very sweet wild berry fruit make this a very enjoyable Zinfandel. $28

Pezzi King Vineyard, Estate Grown, Dry Creek Valley 1997.

One of the most balanced and thoughtful wines of the ZAPP tasting. Completely enjoyable and balanced, not a blockbuster but pleasurable. Medium ripe fruit with a hint of jamminess to balance a good amount of alcohol. $24

Ridge Zinfandel, Dusi Ranch, 1998

Like most of all the other 98 Zinfandels, Ridge’s 98 didn’t show very well. Most seemed too young and a bit weedy for me. And that’s coming from someone who appreciated a good Ridge wine. The Dusi Ranch 98, to me, showed the best of the bunch, with it vibrant and slightly green olive tainted fruit, bitter chocolate, cassis and blackberry flavors. The finish is long and sustained. A very good showing for the 98 vintage. $27.50

Saddleback Cellars Old Vine Zinfandel 1997

I really enjoyed this wine until the lovely lady pouring it told me they were out of stock. No Doubt. One of the great noses of the tasting. Full of wet leather, wild cherries, vibrant and forward fruitiness. In the mouth this wine will almost live up to its nose. Medium-bodied and very pleasurable. $26

Saddleback Cellars Old Vine Zinfandel 1998

This wine really shows the vintage. In the nose it is more vegetal than the 97′ version of the same wine. It show a bit of stewed tomato and steminess. Right now it has some good raspberry and Zinfandel profile showing, but would definitely benefit from some time in the bottle. $30 (why is this more expensive than the better 97′?)

Renwood Grandpere’ Zinfandel 1997

Preamble: Every year the labeling of this wine changes. This year (1997) It is called “Grandpere’ Zinfandel” not Grandpere’ Vineyard. I’m not completely sure if it is from the famous Grandpere’ Vineyard ( the oldest vines in the country) or not.

Preamble aside, this is a killer Zin. Uniquely Amador county. It has a fascinating nose of overripe plum, tar, tea leaf and raisin. An explosion of fruit. Full-bodied with gutsy gobs of sinister port like black fruit, viscous plum, with a tastefully oaked finish. A very long finish at that. This is a stellar Zinfandel, in a year that has produced many opulent Zins. 91/100. $33.-CG

Renwood Old Vine Zinfandel, Amador County 1997

One of the last releases of the 97′ vintage Zinfandels from California. Frankly this wine still needs some time, but good luck not opening it. It is loaded with powerful, jammy/ raisened fruit. It has serious concentration of blackberry, raspberry, cracked pepper and petrol. The usually high alcohol of Renwood Zinfandel is again balanced nicely with the fair acidity in the finish. A very well made wine at $23.

Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel, Bin 106, 1997

Wicked and fun…..all at the same time. Wild raspberry and coconut oil, full of sweet jammy, explosive wild berry and spice, a virtual fiesta in a bottle. Enjoy at $12. – CG