2005 Z-52 Agnes Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel

Name: Z-52 Agnes Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel
Type: Red
Grape: Zinfandel
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2005
Producer: Z-52
Price: $11.00

I got this bottle of wine along with half a dozen others from a site called Wine Insiders. I got a special deal on Groupon for this site so the prices were better than usual but I’m listing the normal price. Every time I’ve tried a wine club (about 3 times now) I’ve been fairly unimpressed with the quality of the wines. I happened to order 2 bottles of this wine because I like Zin and the first bottle was an atrocity. I opened the second bottle to be sure and it’s normal so the first one was either corked or heat damaged. I was plotting my worst review ever and then learned this, which I’ll admit was kind of a let down.

This Zinfandel has a potent aroma of tart, dark fruit. It’s smooth, with a medium-weight mouth feel and flavors of berries, cherry and a bit of black pepper. There are subdued tannins on the short-ish finish. Overall it’s inoffensive and uni-dimensional. More or less what I expect from a wine club. It’s not bad it’s just not particularly interesting. That’s also what I expect from a Zinfandel in this price range but you can get plenty of wine like this without paying for shipping.

Renwood Zinfandel

Name: Renwood Zinfandel

Type: Red

Grape: Zinfandel

Origin: U.S. – California

Year: 2005

Producer: Renwood Winery

Price: $8.99

This wine has what I would describe as a rough aroma, it’s a little tough on the nose. It’s a little peppery and heavily wooded, don’t know if I’d say oak specifically but it definitely smells like wood. The flavor is all spice and pepper and blackberry. Not very well balanced, it kind of punches hard and then fades away quickly, leaving just a sour flavor on the finish. It’s not that bad for a cheap Zin, just not tremendously interesting.

Cellar No. 8 Zinfandel

Name: Cellar No. 8 Zinfandel

Type: Red

Grape: Zinfandel

Origin: U.S. – California

Year: 2005

Producer: Asti Winery

Price: $7.99

The aroma of this wine is like drawing a nice cigar across your upper lip, tobacco and earthiness. The flavor has some real zing. The fruit on the flavor tastes like it isn’t quite ripe and there is some general tanginess. I like it well enough for the price and Consumer Reports really liked this one. I’m not sure if it’s the exact same vintage and maybe that makes the difference because I’m not as big a fan as they were. It is a good cheap Zin though.

Sebastiani Zinfandel

Name: Sebastiani Zinfandel
Type: Red
Grape: Zinfandel
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2003
Producer: Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery
Price: $15.00

This wine has a deep purple color and if you put this in front of me and I was wearing a blindfold, I’d swear up and down that this is port. It smells exactly like port. It also has notes of Port in the flavor but it primarily tastes like a nice dense Zin. Subtle tannins complement the dark, stewed fruit flavors leading up to the medium finish. I like port so I think this is a very nice Zinfandel. If you’re going to pair it with food, which I’d recommend, it needs to be red meat.

Renwood Zinfandel

Name: Renwood Zinfandel
Type: Red
Grape: Zinfandel
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2004
Producer: Renwood Winery
Price: $10.99

I have no recollection of buying this bottle but it is in my wine fridge so I must have. The aroma is bold, with blackberries and spice. The flavor is a little rought around the edges though. It starts with some harsh fruit and matures into a tannic and spicy mess on the palate. Not my favorite Zinfandel but it isn’t terrible.

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Montevina Zinfandel

Name: Montevina
Type: Red
Grape: Zinfandel
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2002
Producer: Montevina Winery
Price: $8.99

Nice leather, chocolate and cherry aroma. Robust flavor, it’s dry and spicy with a good kick of fruit in the middle. It has a lengthy finish as well. I decanted this wine for a long time, I’d recommend doing the same to get the most out of it.

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Clos du Bois North Coast Zinfandel

Name: Clos du Bois North Coast Zinfandel
Type: Red
Grape: Zinfandel
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2003
Producer: Clos du Bois
Price: $9.99

Powerful aroma of berries, mostly strawberries. Really interesting flavors, I detect some plum, almost prune, flavors. It has some slight tannins and a medium-long finish. In all, it’s a very nice little California Zinfandel.

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Twisted Zin Old Vine Zinfandel

Name: Twisted Zin Old Vine Zinfandel
Type: Red
Grape: Zinfandel
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2005
Producer: Twisted Wine Cellars
Price: $6.50

This was actually a 1.5 liter bottle for $12.99 but I adjusted the price as if it were a regular 750ml bottle. That price seems about right too. It has a decent aroma, dense and woodsy. The flavor starts slightly sweet and has a fruit flavor that is a bit off, as if the fruit is beginning to rot. This is especially evident on the finish. The finish is medium in length but not particularly pleasant. All in all, it tastes like a cheap Zinfandel but at least it tastes more or less like a Zinfandel.

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Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin

Name: Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin
Type: Red
Grape: Zinfandel
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2004
Producer: Gnarly Head Cellars
Price: $9.99

Deep color, smells a bit like black licorice. This is a rather intense wine, it starts with some definite blackberry and ends with some distinct tannins. The finish is quite lengthy and has some acidity that I can only describe as “spanky.” This is by far the best of a bunch of bottles I bought at a local liquor store. I didn’t have much respect for the store except for the convenience of it but this wine is decent and they recommended it. I have a nice looking Riesling they recommended and I’m now looking forward to it. This one is best served with something substantial like a nice dry-aged steak, it will overpower anything less.

Buy it from Wine.com: Gnarly Head 2004 Old Vine Zinfandel

Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel

Name: Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel
Type: Red
Grape: Zinfandel
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2004
Producer: Bogle Vineyards
Price: $13.99

Nice deep color and fruity aroma. The flavor is fairly bold with cherry and berries. The finish is oaky and medium length. I’m not sure it’s the best Zin I’ve had around this price but it is certainly worth a look.

Click to Buy: Bogle 2004 Old Vines Zinfandel