Thursday, January 24, 2013

Zin Fans Annual Bash: 2013's ZAP Happens (Jan. 31-Feb. 2)

The annual Zinfandel Advocates and Producers Festival (aka ZAP) is coming up a week from now (Jan. 31-Feb. 2) in San Francisco with more than 200 producers attending the Grand Tasting on Sunday.

If you'd like to focus in on the organically grown wines in the Grand Tasting, print out this handy cheat sheet/list and take it with you.

The wineries in bold text are definitely ones to try. The ones with stars are musts.

Bonterra - a certified, reliable Zin you can find in large supermarkets or BevMo stores

***Bucklin - no longer certified but practicing organic on the "Ancient Vines" only - you owe it to yourself to try this heritage vineyard rarity, a field blend of 20+ varietals planted in the mid 1800s.

Carol Shelton Wines (*occasionally has 1 or 2 certified organically sourced Zins - ask about Wild Thing, Monga, and her Rose)

Castoro Cellars (*not sure if any of the certified vineyards are planted in Zin, so ask them)

***Dashe Cellars - McFadden Farm only - a Beaujolais (light) style Zin - you've got to try it to believe it, and then you might be hooked! I have several cases.

Green Truck Wines - certified, superbudget wine

***Grgich Hills Estate - certified organic and biodynamic from the famous Croatian winemaker who helped uncover the mysterious origins of this varietal

***Storybook Vineyards - hands down, the #1 Zin producer in America - and certified organically grown to boot - a hillside Napa Valley legend whose most recent vintages won Wine Spectator's highest Zin scores

The Lucas Winery - all certified organic and from Lodi - a very rare combination! I haven't tried their wines yet, but am looking forward to tasting all their wines.

***Tres Sabores - a Napa Valley gem, and one of the (quietly) famous and superlative (and organically grown) Zins; it made it into the Chronicle's very competitive top 100 wines of 2011. The winemaker grows only 8 acres of Zin in her Rutherford vineyards (prime Cab spot), so it's quite special indeed.

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