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Cline Cellars Zinfandel
Sonoma, CA 2010

I visited Cline Cellars a couple of years ago when I lived in Napa Valley. Its a lovely winery property and the staff there is welcoming and well informed on their wines. A great Sonoma visit. Although, always impressed with Cline Cellars’ wines as a whole; they do have a bit of a “rep” for their Zinfandels’ and rightfully so – Cline Cellars Zins are great! Being that this past weekend was the 2012 ZAP Zinfandel Festival in San Francisco, I celebrated by opening a bottle of Zin at home – A Cline Cellars Zin!

This Zin was made primarily of fruit sourced from the infamous Lodi, CA area, 73% to be exact. The balance of fruit was selected from Contra Costa and Lake County area vineyards. Cline Cellars takes great care in how they produce their wines. Below is a excerpt on the wine making process for this blend:

“Meticulous farming. Mature fruit. Handmade wines. Severe selection. Master blending. From repeated tasting of the fruit in the vineyard to seeing the grapes come through the hopper, we still do it the old-fashioned way. We think it shows in the bottle, the only thing that matters….”

It shows in the bottle, indeed!
The visual on this wine is bright red with good clarity. On the nose you get lots and lots of cherries with a little oak in background. It’s very unique to Cline Zins. The taste is also of cherries and plum up front with a very smooth mouthfeel. The acidity is very balanced with soft tannins and a long finish that brings the spicy/peppery note at the end. While most people may tell you to pair a Zinfandel of this nature with say steaks and fancy pastas – I felt it was a very “casual” Zin. One you can drink on it’s own or pair with casual food such as a burger or pizza. I happen to pair it with a “mixed grill” that evening of pork and an array if vegetables and it was an awesome match. It held up to the grill flavor.

In my book, this wine as well as many of Cline Cellars’ wines, are a fabulous bargain for Sonoma juice making! I give this Cline Cellars Zinfandel a “THREE BOTTLE” rating, as I will be back to the store to add more bottles to my summer grilln’ and chiln’ cellar!
You can find this Zin and other Cline Cellar wines at most wine retailers and via online at http://www.clinecellars.com. Average retail is around $12.00. I found my bottle on sale at Trader Joes for $7.99.