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Catchin’ some ZZZs with zin: The California icon with staying power



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Ravenswood Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel 2004, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County $30

Dried spices, peppery, cooked black cherry, rooty, licorice, cola, meaty, cedar bark aromas. Tart, round, entry with some cedar-y tannins. Expect peppery, resin, cedar bark and cherry cola flavours. Best with barbecued meats.


Renwood Zinfandel Old Vines 2003, Amador County, Sierra Foothills $33

This is very spicy, peppery zin with smoky, licorice, resin, bramble berry, vanilla, cherry flavours. The finish is warm (alcoholic) and a bit chewy. Best another two to four years in bottle or with grilled meats.


Ridge Three Valleys, Sonoma County $35

A blend of Dry Creek, Sonoma and Alexander valleys fruit; look for bright floral, strawberry jam and spicy aromas. The entry is supple with peppery, spicy, black cherry jam, strawberry, clove, roasted earth and briar flavours. A touch alcoholic but with fine fruit, balance and finesse. Delicious zin.


Inniskillin Okanagan Discovery Series Zinfandel, Okanagan Valley, BC $30

Obviously not from California but this dry, full-bodied zin from the Okanagan is worth checking out. Look for a peppery, resiny, meaty, cooked black cherry, licorice flavours with coffee and vanilla. A touch overripe but that only fits in with the California style.


Anthony Gismondi is a globetrotting wine writer who makes his home in West Vancouver, British Columbia. For more of his thoughts on wine log onto

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