Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – Some New Zinfandels

The May installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Zinfandels that have not been reviewed on this site since its inception over 5 years ago. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened on Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published the following week.

I think anyone who is reading this blog is familiar with Novy and Joseph Swan. Novy Family Wines is a collaboration between Adam & Dianna Lee of Siduri Wines and Dianna’s family. Joseph Swan Vineyards was founded in the late sixties and Rod Berglund is the longtime winemaker and owner. I’ll have to confess I had not heard of Amapola Creek despite the winery being well over a decade into it’s existence. That being said the combination of Richard Arrowood as winemaker and fruit from the Monte Rosso Vineyard is about as close as it gets to a sure thing in the wine world.

Please vote for the bottle you would like to see me open this weekend although rest assured I will have tasting notes up on the other wines is the not too distant future.

The Contenders

  • 2011 Joseph Swan Zinfandel Mancini Ranch Vineyard – Zinfandel from old vines is rarely this light and refreshing, yet still exuberant in fruit. A mix of tart cherry and just-ripe blackberry comes with a lingering edge of citrus around the cinnamon and black pepper spice. Funky earth ripples through the middle, before a subtle take on leather finishes things out. 91 points from the Wine Enthusiast.
  • 2013 Amapola Creek Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard – From the famous Monte Rosso red soil vineyard. The 2013 Zinfandel Monte Rosso (680 cases coming in at 16% alcohol) is 100% Zinfandel. At $45.00, this is a great buy! Made from 123-year-old head-pruned vines, the wine has a dense ruby/purple color, a big, sweet kiss of black cherry, blackcurrant and blackberry with some dusty, loamy soil undertones and pepper as well as hints of charcuterie and spice. It is full-bodied, lavishly rich, and stunningly pure. It should make a savory mouthful for at least a decade. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2013 Novy Zinfandel Papera Ranch Vineyard – The 2013 Zinfandel Papera Ranch is slightly richer and more classic than the Russian River, from a vineyard planted in 1934. The wine is 97% Zinfandel and the rest mixed old-vine black varietals planted probably by the first or second generation of Italian immigrants. The wine has a deep ruby/plum color, a big sweet kiss of steak tartare, beef blood, blackcurrants, sweet cherries, baking spices, herbs and new saddle leather. It’s rich, ripe, full-bodied and opulent. This is a beauty to drink over the next 6-8 years. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which Zinfandel Should I Open?

  • 2013 Amapola Creek Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard (39%, 16 Votes)
  • 2013 Novy Zinfandel Papera Ranch Vineyard (32%, 13 Votes)
  • 2011 Joseph Swan Zinfandel Mancini Ranch Vineyard (29%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 41

Loading ... Loading ...

Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another.

Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the June Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

Tagged , , , , ,

9 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – Some New Zinfandels

  1. I picked Amapola as it intrigued me the most and the one I would most likely would seek out.

  2. I love Novy and Joseph Swan Zins although they are completely different. I voted for the Novy but I’d love to taste the Joseph Swan. From experience, Joseph Swan Zins can really age gracefully. You should have no problem holding that one longer.

  3. Definitely the Swan Mancini; it’s from a vintage that was beat up badly by the wine press and largely ignored by consumers unless the fruit came from higher elevation sites, it’s Joseph Swan – I agree w/ @mbb71, and I’m curious due to the new Carlisle designate bottling from the same vyd. – good call Mr. Lee. In my opinion you’ve already nailed the Amapola Creek between your intro and the Parker notes. Now that Novy (and Siduri) have been sold to the Jackson Family it remains to be seen if Adam’s original vision for the Novy single vineyard designates will remain the same or go unchanged. If memory serves me correctly there’s been a fair # of Papera Ranch offerings previously served up here.

Leave a Comment