ZAP: Forum of Flavors

Three fascinating expressions of Zinfandel


I was fortunate to be able to attends last weeks ZAP Experience. As you might know this year’s event differed from those in years past as the event was broken down into additional components.  The trade and media portion of the Experience is now a discreet tasting, and the grand tasting has been broken out into sections, that took place on the grounds of the Presidio.

One element of the event that has remained mostly the same, though perhaps even larger than in years past was the Flights tasting, this year focusing on the terroir of three distinct vineyards. The Forum of Flavors tasting was an excellent introduction to these vineyard through the wines and words of many of the most important producers of Zinfandel. Blessed with a rotating panel of winemakers providing the background for each wine during the tasting, and fascinating insights into the wines and the vineyards, it was a unique opportunity to dive deeply into the terroir of Zinfandel. As I have written before, I believe Zinfandel is capable of expressing terroir as well or better than any other variety grown in California and today's tasting did nothing to dispel that notion.
While spread over some two and a half hours, this Forum of Flavor event was an incredibly dense look at the wines, and as such kept me exceptionally busy as I tried to keep up with the commentary. I’ve included my notes on each wine here, along with as much of the commentary from the winemakers as I was able to record. Please forgive the rather raw quality to the commentary as I have tried to record each participant’s comments without adding anything. I’ve also included a  limited impression for each vineyard based on my tasting of the wines. 

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  • Snooth User: kelvins
    1389980 1

    please un subsribe me from future emails thank you

    Jan 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

  • Snooth User: Parhelia
    1415712 15

    These descriptions of the wines are so over the top that all I could do is laugh. I've read many professional wine reviews and have a sense of what some of the standard descriptions reference, but who thinks any wine tastes like chocolate chip cookies? How does someone interpret this? It's not like it's a single flavor; it's chocolate, butter (flavor, not feel), flour, granulated sugar, baking powder (which has a definite flavor), etc. I decided to double-check my thinking by looking at other professional reviews of previous years of Charter Oak Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandels. Yes, berries/cherries, oak, tannins, buttery and smokey flavors are described. For those interested in a $50 bottle of wine, probably using normal wine tasting terminology and avoiding hyper-adjectived descriptions would be more helpful. Meanwhile, these reviews need to go in your "Wine Humor" sidebar.

    Jan 28, 2014 at 7:46 PM

  • Snooth User: winekrep
    143676 27

    You know...I like the chocolate chip cookie descriptor, especially in that mid palate area that often seems to coagulate flavors. It's a recognizable flavor combination for many. This is more accessible, to my mind, than lychee nut or carambola. Keep up the good work and hyper-adjective's kinda fun. Just sayin.

    Jan 28, 2014 at 9:52 PM

  • Very important the comments of Brazilian Sparkling Wines.,Thanks. Lucyr Jones Antunes jones.lucyr@gmail.comt

    Jan 29, 2014 at 6:28 AM

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