Zefina Zinfandel – 2003 and 2005

For those who may be new to Winefoot, there is one thing you’ll come to learn of me and that is I really dig Zinfandel – especially coming into this time of the year. The grills are soaring, the steaks are searing and the overall vibe of summertime grilled foods really do scream out for a Zin. If you have yet to experience a good Zinfandel then stop right now, head to your nearest wine-shop and pick up a few bottles – it may just change your life (okay, at least your palate).

Zefina Cellars, based in Seattle WA, is part of the Corus Estates and Vineyards company and have been producing quality wines for quite a few years now and exclusively use fruit from Horse Heaven Hills – in the case of its Zinfandel, it’s from Alder Ridge.

Zefina recently fired off its 2003 and 2005 bottles of Zinfandel and I had the opportunity to give them a whirl, so here are my thoughts:

2003 Zinfandel Overview:
Vineyard: Alder Ridge, Horse Heaven Hills
Fermentation: Barrel aged in 50% new French oak, 50% 2-3 year-old French oak for 18 months
Blend: 100% Zinfandel
Cases Produced: 475
Release Date: January 2007
Price: $19.99

Statistics: Alcohol: 14.5% TA: .63 PH: 3.55 PH: 0.2%

Nose: Obvious vanilla-covered black cherries, spice, jam, black ash, charred bell pepper, cherry cola, white pepper and tobacco.

Taste: black cherries rolled in tobacco-flavored jam topped with white peppers and fire-roasted bell peppers for days. LONG Finish which lingers black cherry cola and pepper.

This is a very good bottle of wine which brings with it quite a bit of Zinfandel goodness to it, especially for $19. If you like Zins like the Seghesio, MonteVina Terra Doro or even the Maryhill Zinfanel for around the same price than you really, really need to seek this wine out. It’s a good value and makes an excellent Zin for those late spring bbq’s.

W.E.P. Scale Rating: 100%

2005 Zinfandel Overview:
Vineyard: 100% Alder Ridge, Horse Heaven Hills
Fermentation: Aged in 60% seasoned (used) French oak and 40% seasoned American Oak for 18 months
Blend: 100% Zinfandel
Cases Produced: 450
Release Date: April 2008
Price: $19.99

Statistics: Alcohol: 15.2% TA: 0.57 PH: 3.78

Nose: blackberry, black pepper, dark chocolate, slight hint of shoe polish, tight tannins, rose peddle and some elderberry blossom.

Taste - Blackberries with tobacco and coffee and dark choc.. finish is good but not great – not even close to the 2003′s huge finish.

This wine didn’t really do much for me – it does have some good structure to it and may taste much better in a few more years of laying down but for right now I’d get the 2003 Zefina or Maryhill over it any day. I want to revisit this wine in another year or two and see how it has progressed. Until then, I think money will be better spent on other Zins in this price range.

W.E.P. Scale Rating: 60%

Conclusion:
As I tell you in every review, these opinions and tasting notes are mine based off of my palate – you should seek out these wines and try them yourself to form your own take on things.