Current Zin styles in the market

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Current Zin styles in the market

Postby Craig Winchell » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:38 pm

Way back when, there were a few styles of Zin on the market, generally characterized by ripeness of fruit and amount and type of oak. Of course, there were the harsh, raspy, full bodied Italian style, as there were many Italian-owned wineries. There were the almost Beaujolais-styled cheap guzzlers. There was the intense fruit, high alcohol, blackberry forward ones, with and without new oak. And there were the almost claret-styled ones (my favorites, in the manner of Montelena in the '70s, don't know about now). and of course, sweet and dry late harvest. Has there been a condensation into a couple or 3 market styles, or has there been an increase of styles as individual winemakers spread their wings? The reason I ask is that the kosher wine market tends to be very truncated in terms of style, especially in Zin and other varieties where there are few producers. I was wondering if it is a reflection of the general market as well. What styles are currently in vogue, what are produced by few, and what styles seem to have disappeared altogether? And what are examples of each, than and now? Thanks!
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Re: Current Zin styles in the market

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:43 pm

Craig,
In the '90s, fueled by rave reviews from the Usual Suspects, many Zins shifted their style toward very high alcohol, extracted wines that often veered into overripeness. I heard reports of people going into the vineyards and seeing raisins (still unpicked) on the vines, so intent were producers on getting "true phenolic ripeness." During that period, few indeed were the producers who steered clear of high alcohol and overextraction: Nalle, Dashe, Storybook Mountain and Ridge (though, in their case, it was neither monovarietal Zin nor are they without their own stylistic baggage). Nowadays, the pendulum has begun swinging back, but "claret style" Zin is still a rare beast.

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Re: Current Zin styles in the market

Postby Craig Winchell » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:10 pm

Thanks, Mark. I just released my first Agua Dulce Zin, at 13.5% alcohol. It appeals to me strongly, and it has been almost universally panned among the few "kosher wine" writers and bloggers who have had it. Since I believe it to be a good wine, based upon experience largely outside the exclusively kosher market (but I could be wrong), I hypothesized that perhaps I am behind the times in terms of stylistic approach. Can't help it- it's what I like, but others don't know what to make of it. The problem is, it got me thinking, and that's when I ask questions like this.
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Re: Current Zin styles in the market

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:41 pm

Craig Winchell wrote:Thanks, Mark. I just released my first Agua Dulce Zin, at 13.5% alcohol. It appeals to me strongly, and it has been almost universally panned among the few "kosher wine" writers and bloggers who have had it. Since I believe it to be a good wine, based upon experience largely outside the exclusively kosher market (but I could be wrong), I hypothesized that perhaps I am behind the times in terms of stylistic approach. Can't help it- it's what I like, but others don't know what to make of it. The problem is, it got me thinking, and that's when I ask questions like this.


Is that the 2010? And do I infer correctly that you've reclaimed the Gan Eden name? If the former is true, Kosher Wines in Skokie is selling it. I'll have to get my hands on a bottle.

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Re: Current Zin styles in the market

Postby Bill Hooper » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:39 pm

For me there are only two zinfandels: Green and Red, and everything else.

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Re: Current Zin styles in the market

Postby Craig Winchell » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:14 am

Is that the 2010? And do I infer correctly that you've reclaimed the Gan Eden name? If the former is true, Kosher Wines in Skokie is selling it. I'll have to get my hands on a bottle.


Yes, it's the 2010, and no, Mark, to Gan Eden. I do still own the Gan Eden brand name, but I couldn't get the boss to sell me the wine I made to bottle as Gan Eden. So it's the 2010 Agua Dulce. I released Cab, Syrah and Zin. Kosherwine.com in Skokie is indeed selling it, but as I say, under the Agua Dulce brand name. Too bad, because I had a nice Gan Eden label designed at my expense, and it is on hold until I can get me my own winery again, I suppose.

Bill, I remember Green and Red.
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