Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2016 Old Vine Zinfandel

The June Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2016 Old Vine Zinfandel. 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 this Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published early next week.

2016 was an exceptional vintage for Zinfandel in Napa, Sonoma and Amador. The wines are lush and polished and the very best should drink well for years to come. All of these Zins come from heritage vineyards with Dogtown being the youngest, planted in 1944.

The Contenders:

  • 2016 Williams Selyem Zinfandel Saitone Vineyard – From old vines planted in 1895 on Olivet Lane in the Russian River Valley, the medium to deep ruby-purple colored 2016 Zinfandel Saitone Estate Vineyard is gregariously scented of brambly fruits, crushed blueberries, marionberry, peach preserves and oodles of stone fruits—classic tricolored Zinfandel fruits—plus accents of potpourri, dried flowers, dusty earth, cinnamon stick and licorice. The light to medium-bodied palate offers impressive restraint, with firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness on the long, spicy finish. 94 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Montafi Vineyard – A blend of 89% Zinfandel mixed with about eight different other varieties, from vines planted in 1926, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Zinfandel Montafi Ranch offers up a pronounced crème de cassis and blueberry pie nose with touches of camphor, cardamom and dusty soil. The palate is big, rich, full and fruity with loads of earthy notions and a plush texture, finishing with great freshness. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2016 Turley Zinfandel Dogtown Vineyard – From a site located on the outskirts of Lodi in the beginning of the foothills on volcanic and clay soils, the 2016 Zinfandel Dogtown Vineyard exhibits a complex nose of dried herbs, sage, cherries and raspberries. This dry-farmed vineyard planted in 1944 is the lowest yielding in Turley’s portfolio, and the tiny clusters it produces show in the wine’s dense, layered, richly tannic profile. It’s one of the best candidates for sustained bottle age in the range this year. 94 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2016 Old Vine Zinfandel Should I Open?

  • 2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Montafi Vineyard (44%, 14 Votes)
  • 2016 Williams Selyem Zinfandel Saitone Vineyard (31%, 10 Votes)
  • 2016 Turley Zinfandel Dogtown Vineyard (25%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 32

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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 July installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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6 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2016 Old Vine Zinfandel

  1. I. personally, love the Carlisle/Montalfi bottling, and, so, would be interestied in reading your opinion before I crack open my one bottle of the ’16.

  2. I have a couple of the montafi, also, but haven’t started drinking them. WS thought it was good, but interested in your opinion.

  3. Never had Williams Seylem, so it gets my vote. I also find the diversity of its fruit profile more enticing

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