Neyers ‘High Valley Vineyards’ Zinfandel 2005

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I find Zin to be a spotty grape. It can be standard berry forwardness with little complexity, or it can be full, deep, and filled with flavour. Generally I seem to prefer the Napa zins over those from Sonoma – but I have yet to try many from other areas of California (not to mention I have an old vine Sinean Washington zin to give a whirl at some point). What I like is the refinement in the Napa zins. I won’t deny that Sonoma has a little more of a rebelious spirit with their zins. Yet I prefer the Napa refinement to the Sonoma wildness. Sometimes Napa Zins can enter into the realm of the over-manipulated. Yet, if you choose wisely, this can be avoided.

With that preamble out of the way, this particular wine had a big nose of red berry, with a wiff of alcohol. This dissipated on the palate, which introduced Indian spice, candied orange rind (reminds of Christmas), sweet plum and raisin. I also detected some pepper. This was very nicely balanced for a Zin, and I found this simple and yet very pleasant and robust. Also, if you happen to be having Lamb and tomato sauce – this is the perfect pairing.

$40 at Marquis


  1. Joe
    September 29, 2008

    Definitely spotty – had too many over-manipulated Zin from all over California. I loved the Bella vineyards Zin from my trip to Sonoma last year – easily the best Zin I have ever had. Ridge blends Zin with other grapes, which I like.

  2. Shea
    September 29, 2008

    Ya, Ridge can be good. But I don’t like all of their wines. If you feel in the mood to give zin a try again, go for Neyers. A wine seller I respect described their style as ‘if Zinfandel was made in France, it would taste like this’.

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