2012 California Zin and more

Today we are going to look at the 2012 and 2013 California Zinfandel.  Solid growing conditions with a large crop have produced some solid values.  We will also provide guidance on the 2014 French Bordeaux harvest.  Looks like a solid vintage to add to ones cellar.

2012 zin harvest

California Zin is providing a wealth of good drinking from the 2012 vintage. It is always fun for us to pop open a Zin and explore wines we have not tried before. My foundest memory of a Zin was several years back in a restaurant when the waiter suggested we try a Limerick Lane. The wine was wonderful with licorice and spice.

You will find a many good Zins at prices under $20 and the Bogle Zin at around $10.

Growing conditions were superb with WinesSpectator rating 90% of the wines tasted 85 points or better. With both the 2012 and 2013, another good year, vintages producing plentiful crops strong quality across the board you will find a bounty of great values.

With a strong growing season in 2012 provided a large crop of jammy wines that are fun to drink. You will find the wine a little short on structure and are best consumed over the first few years. While the growing conditions in 2013 were ideal as well are more dense and slightly more full.

Let’s take a look at some values in the market – both years apply:

Limerick Lane – Zinfandel Russian River 2012 rated 94 points @ $32

A wine with food focus and depth featuring cherry and spice flavors

Carlisle – Zinfandel Lodi Kirschenmann rated 93 points @ $34

Lovely aromas of wild flowers and raspberry with flavors of tart cherry and boysenberry.

Seghesio – Zinfandel Sonoma rated 92 points @ 24 (you will find this wine at your local Costco – MASS – at $16)

Nice aroma of cherry and tarragon with layered flavors of raspberry, nutmeg and pepper. This is a wine we buy by the case.

Turley – Zinfandel old vines rated 91 points for $24

Turley as an outstanding producer. A nicely focused wine offering notes of wild berry pepper and anise.

Dry Creek – Sonoma 2013 rated 90 points @ $20

Zesty wine with nice fruit – on the jammy side wild berry, licorice and spice

Cline – Zin Lodi 2013 rated 88 points @ $12

Great value – easy drinking wine of cherry and spice.

Bogle rated 87 points at $11

Yes $11 buys you a great wine. Cherry flavors with herbs and spice.

2014 French Bordeaux

Many writers state that the quality looks good. The vintage story is a familiar one: a cool, damp summer with the grapes finally ripened by the “miracle” of September sun. No one is calling 2014 a great, must-have “vintage of the century,” as they labeled 2010, 2009, and 2005.

“Arguably the best vintage since 2010, 2014 has produced some lovely wines, despite a cool and damp August. On the whole, they are light- to medium-bodied, with bright, refreshing acidity and ripe fruit. I doubt they have the concentration necessary for the long haul; vintages like 2005 and ’10 (which many will rate as much better than this) need at least 15 years in the cellar before they come around. Who has the patience to wait that long? As with the 2004, ’06 and ’08, 2014 will drink much earlier and, in some cases, give great pleasure. It shouldn’t be overlooked.”


The way-too-expensive wines from lackluster 2011, 2012, and 2013 have languished, unsold. Even wines from the great 2009 and 2010 vintages, like first growth Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, have dropped 30 percent to 45 percent from their futures prices. The euro is at its lowest point in more than 10 years, which could offer added incentive for U.S. wine lovers to buy futures—but only if the cost is low enough to start. My readings indicate many large wholesalers / retailers are seeing little demand for futures unless the price is right.

My view on pricing is simple: The wines have to be cheaper than any other vintage on the market of comparable quality. If they aren’t, I wouldn’t be in a rush to buy them as futures. I’d wait until they’re in bottle.

Left Bank

“Tasting wines in the communes of St.-Julien, Pauillac and St.-Estèphe was an absolute delight. Many of these wines possessed a wonderful, cool, fresh character and ripe, elegant fruit, with Pauillac probably making the better wine this year.”

Right Bank

“The Right Bank wasn’t as easy to navigate. Pomerol has once again produced some excellent wines—as well it might, given the prices it charges—but I was less enthused by St.-Emilion, where the Merlot clearly struggled. Although I didn’t taste as widely as I did in the Médoc, I found that Right Bank wines with a high proportion of Cabernet Franc were more successful.”

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:50-04:00 May 28th, 2015|wine|0 Comments

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