Category Archives: Napa Valley

Hendry HRW 2009 Napa Valley Zinfandel


Name of wine: Hendry HRW 2009 Napa Valley Zinfandel

(100% Zinfandel, Napa Valley AVA, California) Alcohol 14.9%

Grapes come from the Hendry estate 750 cases

Price paid:  $25 Buy Now

Where purchased:  Vino!, San Francisco, California

Tasting Notes and my Comments:  I would buy this again.  Hendry is a small producer in Napa and they know their zin.  Ageworthy too.  Not as sweet fruit as the 2007 I tasted previously.  Tasted October 3, 2012.

Color:  Deep ruby and day-bright.

Nose:  Fragrant and powerful.  Jammy fruit.  Floral notes.  And green olives (picholine).

Palate:  Light bodied.  Medium tannins.  Medium acidity.  The fruit is silky jam.  Off-dry and a medium finish.  Medium+ alcohol.  Some earthiness too.

Food:  I enjoyed this one with pizza margherita from Pizzeria Delfina!

Winemaker notes:

From the Hendry Wines website.:

The production is generally small. This wine is a blend of the barrels that were not included in the Block 7&22 Zinfandel or Block 28 Zinfandel.
The alcoholic fermentation was completed in approximately ten days in closed stainless steel fermentation tanks. When the wine was fermented completely dry, it was pressed to barrel for malolactic fermentation. Aging was twelve months in French oak barrels of which approximately 10% were new, with the remaining barrels 1, 2 and 3 year old barrels from our zinfandel program.

The Napa Valley AVA is located in Napa County, California.  Even though it is best known for its cabernet sauvignon, there are some interesting zinfandel grown and produced here.

Would you try a Napa zin?

About Peter Trapasso

Peter Trapasso, also known as “Vino Pete” is the founder of VinoPete.com. Subscribe and visit us weekly for our latest wine review. Now writing for Examiner.com

Sean Thackrey Orion 2010 California Native Wine Rossi Vineyard St Helena


Name of wine: Sean Thackrey Orion 2010 California Native Wine Rossi Vineyard St Helena

(Rhone-style field blend, St. Helena AVA, California) Alcohol 15.2%

Sean Thackrey, Bolinas, California

Price paid:  $90 Buy Now

Where purchased:  Vino!, San Francisco, California

Tasting Notes and my Comments:  This bottle is truly sublime.  Like no other wine that I have ever tasted before.  The fruit gets bigger with each sip.  One jammy mouthful after another.  Think Châteauneuf-du-Pape California-style.  A Rhone-style field blend  11 Varietals planted in the Rossi Vineyard. Tasted September 29th, 2012.

Color:  Medium clear.  The color of aubergine.

Nose:  Moderate nose.  Needs time to open up.  Please give this one some time!  Earthy chalk.  Woody. With a high note.

Palate:  Dry with some fruit.  Tannic with 15.2% alcohol.  Wonderfully chalky and unfiltered.  A noseful of quince.

Food:  This was my choice for this year’s birthday bottle, so I went BIG!  We paired it with our famous prime rib pot roast with organic vegetables.  Deee-vine!  Yes, you read that right.  Prime.Rib.Pot.Roast.

Winemaker notes:

From Sean Thackrey’s Wikipedia entry.:

Thackrey’s flagship wine is Orion (Sean Thackrey Orion Rossi Vineyard St. Helena California Native Red Wine), produced from 1986-1990 using Syrah grapes from Arthur Schmidt’s old vine vineyard near Yountville until this was bought by Clarke Swanson,[7] and since 1992 from the 5-acre (2.0 ha) Rossi vineyard in St. Helena, planted in 1905. Thackrey is uncertain what grape varieties are in the field blend, as UC Davis researchers have attempted a vineyard test without certain conclusions.[5]

The St. Helena AVA is located in the northern end of Napa Valley.  It is thought that 11 different varietals have been planted in the Rossi Vineyard since 1905.  The vineyard is thought to be dominated by Syrah that was once planted in CôteRôtie.

Have you tried any Châteauneuf-du-Pape?  You must check this one out soon as it is extremely limited each year.

About Peter Trapasso

Peter Trapasso, also known as “Vino Pete” is the founder of VinoPete.com. Subscribe and visit us weekly for our latest wine review. Now writing for Examiner.com

Frogs Leap 2010 Zinfandel Napa Valley


Name of wine: 
Frogs Leap 2010 Zinfandel Napa Valley

(77.5% Zinfandel 22% Petit Sirah 0.5% Carignane, Napa Valley AVA, Napa County, California) Alcohol 13.8%

Price paid:  $13 (375 ml) Buy Now

Where purchased:  Vino!, San Francisco, California

Tasting Notes and my Comments:  Medium viscosity and a skim milk mouth feel.  Release Date: June 2012. Tasted September 17th, 2012.

Color:  Bright garnet and clear.

Nose:  Fruit and spice.

Palate:  Medium tannins. Medium alcohol and acidity. Short finish and medium complexity. Fruity with spicy high notes. I can taste the oak in this one.

Food:  I would most likely pair this with food that can benefit from this wines acidity. Roast turkey with gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce would work well.

Winemaker notes:

Frog’s Leap grows all of their grapes organically and uses organic fertilizers.  After harvest they plant cover crops in compost to help care for their soil.  They are also studying biodynamic farming too.

From the Frog’s Leap website:

A BRIEF HISTORY

Yes, we have noticed that the monster Zins of the ’70s are still in fashion. And yes, just like fashion they command monster prices based on their “big” alcohol, “big” flavors, and “big” bottles. But Frog’s Leap Zin is different: you can’t use this stuff to light your charcoal grill.

Maybe it’s that we found our early inspiration for Zinfandel from a different source — instead of reinventing Zinfandel, we looked to the past and the incredible Zins of the ’40s and ’50s. Those wines taught us the lessons that the old-timers knew: that field blends of Petite Sirah, Carignane, and Napa Gamay all picked at ripeness (not as raisins) added color, aromatics, and earthy complexity. In other words, the help of other varietals was needed to reveal the Zinfandel grape’s true flavors. These principles form the foundation for our wine today.

ABOUT THE WINE

Our classic “field blend” of old-vine Zinfandel, Petite sirah and Carignane continues to presents us with a rich, yet quaffable wine. Our 2010 Zinfandel welcomes you with enticing aromas of cinnamon and clove which underscore layers of brambly fruit and dried cranberries. Luscious flavors of cherry and boysenberry–laced with hints of earth and spice–delight your palate. The
resolved tannins and plush texture are balanced by a bright acidity. However, the beauty of this wine is its drinkability and with an alcohol of less than 14% you are assured a perfect partner for your backyard get-togethers..

WINEMAKERS

John Williams and Paula Moschetti

VINEYARDIST

Frank Leeds

The Napa Valley AVA is located in Napa County, California.  Zinfandel is an underrated varietal. Many still think Zinfandel = “White Zin” sweet wine, which is no longer true. Think big. bold flavours that marry well with backyard BBQ!

Did you know about red Zin? Would you try it?

About Peter Trapasso

Peter Trapasso, also known as “Vino Pete” is the founder of VinoPete.com. Subscribe and visit us weekly for our latest wine review. Now writing for Examiner.com