Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2016 Old Vine Zinfandel

The January 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 Friday and a Bottle Note will be published early next week.

2016 was an exceptional vintage for Zinfandel. The wines are lush and polished and the very best should drink well for several more years. Saitone and Ueberroth date back to the 19th century and Carlisle was planted in 1927.

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 Carlisle Vineyard – Checking in as a blend of 87% Zinfandel and the rest a mix of varieties, the 2016 Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard offers a thrilling mix of crème de cassis, blueberries, cedary herbs, and charcoal on the nose. Like all of Mike’s 2016s, it’s fresh and focused on the palate, with a fine, ethereal, streamlined texture that builds with time in the glass. It’s a beautiful Zinfandel to enjoy over the coming 10-15 years or more. It’s certainly one of the gems in this report. 97 points from Jeb Dunnuck.
  • 2016 Turley Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard – From a chalky site in Paso Robles, 2016 Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard displays aromas of red cherries, plums and balsamic reduction, followed by a medium to full-bodied, juicy palate that’s taut and tangy, with the second-lowest pH of any Zinfandel in the Turley portfolio, concluding with a pure, vibrant finish. 94 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2016 Old Vine Zinfandel Should I Open?

  • 2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard (65%, 15 Votes)
  • 2016 Turley Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard (22%, 5 Votes)
  • 2016 Williams Selyem Zinfandel Saitone Vineyard (13%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 23

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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 February installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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

  1. Williams-Selyem. I’m a bit dogmatic about alcohol levels these days and generally refuse to buy anything over 15%. (I think the Carlisle is at 15%, which is right on the line, so I might make an exception for that one.) I just don’t enjoy Zins that ripe anymore. But I’ve had more Carlisles than W-S’s, so for that reason (and the >15% alcohol), I’d go with the W-S.

  2. Hi Tom,

    I actually have both the Turley and the Carlisle in my cellar, but haven’t tried either one yet. I voted for the Carlisle, but how about opening both and letting us know your thoughts?

    Btw – thanks for your continuous devotion to this site. I read them all.


  3. I think the Carlisle will be too young (at least for my palate). If Tegan made the Ueberroth (don’t recall which vintage he began with), it should be singing. Great vineyard too.

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