Sep 17, 2019
It’s not too often you get to taste vertical tastings of wine unless perhaps you go to an event at a winery featuring verticals of their wine. Other reasons are, well, you just don’t keep the wine in your house long enough.
Last month for Winephabet Street our topic was Z for Zinfandel. I had two bottles of Artezin Mendocino County Zinfandel. I chose the 2017 Artezin Zinfandel one for the program and later did a vertical tasting with their 2016. It is interesting to see the differences and we’ll discuss that in a bit.
Artezin’s winemaker Randle Johnson has been with the winery since it began in 2002. He makes Zinfandel from old vine plantings through-out Medocino and Sonoma Counties. He works with family owned farms and if you visit their website they introduce you to the farmers they work with to create their Zinfandel. Besides Zinfandel they also use varieties such as Carignan and Petit Sirah. Artezin is part of the Hess Family Wine Estates
A vertical tasting is a tasting of the same wine but different vintages. The 2016 and 2017 Artezin Mendocino County Zinfandel are similar yet different. The blend and price are slightly different. I’ve participated in blending before and it is an art. Not every vintage will be the same as the growing season is different so for the winemaker to achieve what he/she is looking for there might be more, less of a grape blended in, if blended at all.
Let’s take a look at each of the wines. The similarities and differences
2016 Artezin Mendocino County Zinfandel SRP $18.00
A blend of 85% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah and 5% Carignan. Notes of juicy cherry, blackberry and pomegranate aromas with subtle hints of chocolate fill the glass. The palate is full of red jammy fruit with hints of baking spices.
2017 Artezin Mendocino County Zinfandel SRP $16.00
This wine blend is slightly different. It’s 85% Zinfandel and 15% Petite Sirah. This wine had a lot going on. Notes and flavors of blackberry, plum and boysenberry with hints of black pepper, clove and cinnamon on the finish. As the wine opens you get some chocolate on the finish.
Two different years, two different growing seasons. I felt like 2017 had a higher alcohol content than in 2016 when the difference is 0.3% with 2017 being higher. The 2017 had much more black fruit with the 2016 having more predominant red fruit.
Both Zinfandels were very good. Nicely made, easy to enjoy and pair with food. Inexpensively priced under $20 makes it a go-to wine.
Learn more about Zinfandel with Winephabet Street
In September Winephabet Street concluded their first season with Zinfandel. Learn about the Zinfandel grape and the some of the great winepairings with me and Lori. Listen to the podcast