Zinfandel has always been near and dear to me, given it’s partial roots to Italian culture and because it’s so food friendly.  It helps that they’re delicious and affordable and these two wines are no exceptions. 

With a mixture of spicy, tex-mex sort of food during the NFL playoffs this weekend,  I figured it would take some robust Zinfandels to stand up to that sort of fare – lest I be relegated to drinking only what Mr. Moretti would offer.  Not a bad thing, mind you, but we were in a wine mood. 

The 2010 Frank Family Zinfandel is sourced from grapes high atop the Chiles Valley in Napa.  Admittedly, most of the Zinfandels I drink hail from Sonoma, but this one may be the best Napa Zin I’ve had in many years.  It’s a dark purple elixir, with laser like aromas of crushed wild berry, menthol, spice and licorice.  In the mouth, the balance is there between the heat, acids, and full bodied ripe black fruit.  That unmistakable  wild berry flavor carries on throughout the full bodied finish.  92 points, about $30. 

2010 Frank Family Zinfandel

The next wine up was from the stalwart of Zinfandel producers, Ridge.  The 2010 Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys is technically “not” a Zinfandel because the grape falls short of the AVA required 80% – only 72% of the wine is Zinfandel with the balance to as many as 4 other grape varieties. That being said, in typical Ridge style, the wine is just tremendous and behaves like a Zin.  On the nose, the wine is so pretty, so perfumed, with floral, spice, berry, eucalyptus, coconut and pine notes.  In the mouth, the wine is full bodied, with wonderful, fresh mouth watering acidity to the crushed wild berry, floral and perfumed tones.  A great entry level Zinfandel from Ridge. 91 points, about $24.  

2010 Ridge Three Valleys

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