California Zinfandel used to be the king of California wine, but over the years, most California Zins have become heavy, rich, alcoholic fruit bombs. These are wines that can reach alcohol levels close to 16%, with so much fruit and oak that you’re likely to pass out if you consume more than a glass. And with this style becoming more ubiquitous, many have turned away, especially as the majority of wine drinkers have begun to seek more balanced, lower alcohol wines – since many of us would like to have more than one glass with dinner.
That’s why the Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel from Sonoma County is such an incredible surprise. This bottle is without a doubt the best California Zinfandel we have had in years. The wine has what many other Zinfandels lack: incredible balance – as most Cali Zins can either have too much alcohol or too much fruit – and also an appropriate amount of alcohol at 14.5%. But that alcohol percentage is manageable, especially if you drink it as it is intended with good food.
In the glass, the wine pours a deep dark purple, giving off luscious dark fruit aromas. In the mouth, it is rich and smooth, with flavors of blackberry, cherry and leather. The tannins are not aggressive, but a welcome characteristic on the finish. This wine is so rich and delicious, it almost sinks into your tastebuds.
This is the ideal wine for winter dinner parties where one might serve roasts, stews and heartier fare. This is what the King of California wine should taste like. Quivira is a wine that can help Zinfandel take back the crown.
Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012 was provided to VinePair as a sample.