Rosenblum Cellars Vintner’s Cuvee XXXVI Zinfandel
Celebrating the 36th year of this label, the current vintage exemplifies what they do best—a wine full of raspberry, black cherry and cassis. This cuvee, or blend, is sourced from vineyards throughout California. Best paired with barbecue dishes and hearty pastas. Contains 14.5 percent alcohol.
Cline Zinfandel 2013
Lodi, California, $10
Another popular-priced favorite. It fills your mouth with dark cassis, strawberry, black cherry and vanilla spice and ends with a lingering finish. This wine will mature for three or four years and was sustainably farmed using no pesticides. Enjoy with charcuterie, grilled steak or a hearty gumbo. Contains 14 percent alcohol.
Seven Deadly Zins Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
Lodi, California, $12
From the Michael David Vinery in Lodi, the best American vinicultural area for zinfandel grapes. With six generations of wine making behind them, brothers Michael and David load this one with 15 percent alcohol, similar to other big Lodi Zins. Good with any steak.
1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel 2013
Mendocino, California, $16
There are wine barrels used to aged distilled spirits, and now the opposite. Aged in both new and old bourbon barrels from Kentucky, the toasty oak aromas fill your nose along with blackberry, plum and spice. All black fruit on the palate and clove and vanilla round out the finish. High but balanced alcohol at 15 percent. Serve with steaks and roasts.
Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2013
Sonoma, California, $21
Estate vineyards dating back to 1895 are the source for this exquisite Zinfandel with moderate 14.8 percent alcohol for a California Zinfandel. Luscious and spicy, with smoked anise and flavors of black fruits, followed by a smooth, long-lasting finish. Great with anything on the grill. Rated 90 points by Wine Spectator.