Random Musings

Top 10 Zinfandels Tasted in 2021

Ridge Lytton Springs

It is the time of the year where every wine blogger publishes their lists of Wines of the Year or Values of the Year, etc. Although I try to blog about all the wines I taste it is clear that Zinfandel is definitely my grape of choice. With that in mind here are my top 10 Zinfandels of 2021 and my rating for each.

The link for each wine will take you to the detailed Bottle Note on Zinfandel Chronicles. All of the older wines were stored in my cellar since release. Wines that received the same score are not listed in any particular order. This is the 8th version of my Top 10 Zinfandel list.

  1. 2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch – 96 points
  2. 2019 Hartford Family Winery Zinfandel Russian River Valley Old Vine – 95 points
  3. 2019 Ridge Geyserville – 95 points
  4. 2013 Turley Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard – 95 points
  5. 2017 AldenAlli Zinfandel Limerick Lane Vineyard – 95 points
  6. 2017 Gamba Vineyard Zinfandel Old Vine Starr Road Ranch – 95 points
  7. 2016 Limerick Lane Zinfandel Russian River Valley – 95 points
  8. 2016 Outpost Zinfandel Howell Mountain – 95 points
  9. 2016 Once & Future Wine Frank’s Block Teldeschi Vineyard – 95 points
  10. 2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Montafi Vineyard – 95 points

A few observations after compiling the list:

  • Carlisle and Turley are the only wineries represented in each list since 2014.
  • Carlisle made some breathtaking Zins with the 2016 vintage.
  • This is the first time Gamba has made the Top 10.
  • Limerick Lane Vineyard has been well represented in the last several years with wines from Bedrock, AldenAlli, Matthiasson and of course Limerick Lane.
  • Papera Vineyard has been represented in every list since 2015 with wines from Bedrock, Carlisle and Williams Selyem

Last year’s list can be found here.

What was the best Zinfandel you opened this year?


5 thoughts on “Top 10 Zinfandels Tasted in 2021

  1. Probably the 2018 Ridge Pagani Ranch. I bought a case in January and had the last bottle recently. Just a perennial beauty year in year out.

  2. Best one for me as of today is the 2018 Carlisle Papera Ranch. It is just a beautiful, layered, beguiling bottle of zin.

    I scored it the same as the 2018 Ridge Geyserville but I think it edges that one out by a hair.

    That said, the year’s not over yet!

  3. I am curious about the lack of comment on or rating of Martinelli zinfandels. Being a longtime member of the Carlisle, Martinelli and Turley lists, as well as being a customer of Bedrock and Once & Future, this seems odd. I am also a member for 12+ years of Biale’s Black Chicken Society: come to think of it, I don’t recall much (if any) mention of Biale either.

    1. Hi John. Thanks for reading. For the most part wines reviewed on Zinfandel Chronicles are wines I have purchased. I do get samples periodically and make note of that in the review. I just have not purchased much Martinelli and they have not sent me samples. If you use the search function there are some Biale reviews although just not as many as Turley, Carlisle, Bedrock, etc.

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