EP 945 Blind Zinfandel Tasting

With Thanksgiving around the corner, Gary Vaynerchuk blind tastes four bottles of Zinfandel at a variety of price points.

Wines tasted in this episode:

Bogle ZinfandelCalifornia Red Zinfandel
2008 Seghesio Sonoma ZinfandelSonoma Red Zinfandel
2006 Louis Martini Monte Rosso Zinfandel Gnarly VinesNapa Red Zinfandel
2007 Outpost Zinfandel Howell MountainNapa Red Zinfandel

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luca bercelli


line of the day – ‘This feels like an enhanced man or woman’

Blind shows are always a fun watch

Tags: california, napa, review, Sonoma, wine, wines, zinfandel

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  • Great show again. Always love the blind tastings.

    I think my pallete is still evolving. I actually went through a dry spell this summer and wasnt drinking as much. Having a pregnant wife slows down my consumption as we cant share. But I just havent been into wine long enought to notice a huge change.

    BTW: Think we might see a thanksgiving secret pack this year? I am hoping so since I can finally get wine shipped to TN

  • Do I sense a couch appearance is imminent?

  • LurkerKing


  • Purple Grillz

    My palate is starting back off from Chris Ringland’s portfolio because that ubiquitous coffee flavor is starting to be a little spooky. I love his wines but…. other wise the most exciting wine I’ve had in a long time is the 2008 Georges Dubeouf Brouilly, the fruit expression is amazingly pure and mouth feel is glycerin at its best and there is no heat at all! An amazing wine on its own and holds its own with light fare. I suggest this great wine for your Turkey Day

    @Gary …. How can you not recommend Beaujolais for Turkey Day?

  • Cubatobaco (Ray)

    Go with Carnival of Love. The last bottle I had was phenomenal!

  • Anonymous

    Nice show. Ridge Zins got me into wine. We used to (and still do) break them out at holidays and have a great time. We did a Ridge Buchignani Ranch vertical (’02-’05) last Christmas that was great.

    QOTD: State of my palate. In the last year I have gotten very into wine and have been trying wine from all over. While I started with a New World palate, I have noticed that I am starting to appreciate balance more and shy away a bit more from over-oaked wines. In general I love Pinot Noir, Spanish Reds, Riesling, and Cab. However, I have started to really appreciate Syrah (particularly from Washington State), Sauv Blanc (particularly from NZ) and bubbles. I have also noticed that I appreciate minerality in my wines now. I also look for complexity and secondary flavors while I used to just want to be crushed with fruit and flavor (that does still have its time and place though).

  • jjt

    The QOFTD brings up a slight quibble my palate has with Mr Vaynerchuck’s regarding not chilling whites. Lately I’ve been getting into the seriously stoney Marlborough Saugvignon Blancs – I’m talking ones that make you feel like you’re sucking a cold piece of quartz – and I find that minerality is sometimes enhanced by chilling, maybe because what could be overwhelming tropical fruit notes are muted by the cold to a level that lets the minerals come through. I’ll admit there’s a price to be paid on the nose, but sometimes, for me, it’s worth it.

  • Anonymous

    Love the blind tastings. Zin is one of my favorite wines currently so was happy to see this. Thing is I don’t like the overly jammy, verging on dessert wine Zins. However Brown Estate Zin is totally where my heart is at.

    QOTD: As for my palate, it has definitely changed over my 10 years of drinking. (GV, you got a couple years on me). I think it varies during the year as well though. Summers are fruity, citrussy NZ Sav Blancs. This time of year switches to reds. And I think my palate is with blends (Brown Chaos Theory, OS Prisoner, Abstract, Rhone style blends) I like the balance, not too fruit forward, tannins are balanced. Make them easy drinking and versatile.

  • NY Pete

    no friday thunder … boo.

  • wyld

    Nice, i think ive finally drank a bottle of wine that u have reviewed. I really like Bogle, never scared to bring to a party and happy to drink by myself.

    QOTD: I hate the goop, its ALOT worse then the oak monster, all i can think about is when ur a kid and ur mom makes u take that medicine that “tastes good.” I dont drink Zin, Syra, or Melbecs even some Cabs get a little goopy. I do drink mostly without food or with cheese, so maybe thats a factor.

    Thanks for the show, i know our pallets are similar, i like earth and complexity.

  • Brad from canada

    hey gary, you’re so right – the way you enjoy wines does change. i find myself loving classic wines from italy and france, and can’t even stand the lucious wines i used to love from Cali…it’s almost sad…and for awhile i felt lost, because i gave up my favourites, but i guess that’s what it’s all about. dude, i loved this show, you totally brought back the thunder with the brown bags. how about you have a taste off with K Murph. you pick some wines and she picks some wines then you try and see what varietal they are…come on you’ve had tons of guests on the show but K murph is the bread and butter…and she rocks!

  • mrbuzz

    Where’s the “leathery” leather??? Not really a Zin characteristic imo.

    Outpost Zin = black pepper…..you didn’t get any of that?

  • Anonymous

    QOTD- way into dark, leather, poopy, tanic, pino nior type wines. I’m less excited by bitterness and I think that’s getting more and more to be the case. If a wine is really filled with bitter cherries I’m not a big fan of it. I like dry wines, like a dry Riesling. I used to be strictly reds but a few Chardonnays have been getting to me lately because I love the acid lemon kind of flavors.

  • Jon R

    Hi Gary, long time watcher, first time poster. Big game coming up this weekend vs. the Lions! I’m a longtime Lions fan, and I am optimistic, but I think the Jets will win. I think Revis will tie up Johnson and Jahvid Best has been struggling so our offense will take a hit.

    I was wondering if you’ll be doing a show on Chilean wines soon. I remember in an episode a while back that you thought Chilean wines were overrated. I wondered if you still feel that way?

  • Anonymous

    Great episode and GREAT QOTD!!

    QOTD: After a summer of absolutely craving the crisp, high acid and mineral drivern whites of the Loire Valley (specifically sur lie Muscadet, dry Vouvray, value Sancerre and Pouilly Fume), dry sparkling wine from Limoux, Brut Champagne (with the occasional splurge), Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, dry South African Chenin, Picpoul, etc., I have VERY oddly recently gravitated towards richer whites and medium-bodied reds. I actually have been digging on oaked domestic Chards and Roussannes (ONLY when they have enough acid to carry the fruit, usually meaning only partial or no malo) as well as some southern Rhone red blends and Tempranillo-based Ribera del Duero and aged Rioja. Of course Loire Cab Franc always will hit the spot…

  • Jorgen UK

    QOTD: Me, I have gone from a Brunello fan to drinking more austere and full bodied Barolo. Mostly new style like Renato Ratti. But also a nicely done Barbera or Dolcetto (really in to the Piemonte vinos)

  • Erik Wait

    I don’t understand your food & wine paring, you’re recommending or suggesting Zins for Thanksgiving Dinner?

    Turkey is a fairly light meat that tends to be complimented with stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. I would think that any Zin would overwhelm any of these items and would be better pared with BBQ ribs etc. So, I tend to serve barrel fermented Chardonnay or Viognier which balance well, especially with smoked turkey. Last year I served two Chards in a blind tasting, a 2006 Chardonnay from Fess Parker?s Ashley Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills (which went best with the meal) and a 2005 Pouilly-Fuissé Appellation d’origine contrôlée produced by Louis Jadot, imported by Kobrand Corporation. (see http://www.californiawinetastingadventures.com/2009/12/blind-tasting-of-french-and-california.html)

    QOTD: As we are transitioning into Fall with warm days and cool nights in California I am transitioning from a lot of whites to more reds, right now I’m into Pinot Noir but by the time winter hits I’ll be totally into Cabernet Sauvgnon, Bordeaux, etc.

  • xplcb

    How can I call myself a Zin lover when I still have not tried a Seghesio Zin…

    QOTD: For special occasions my palate wants a premium red burgundy. For any other occasion, I like the red southern rhone styles and I enjoy rioja (crianza or reserva). For whites my palate likes unoaked whites that are crisp and clean. Most importantly I like to mix it up. I know my palate changes.

  • Alfa_cool

    Seghesio is one of the best zinfandels I’ve drank so far. But it was the old vine

  • second that

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: My palate is changing at this point, too. After a nasty respiratory illness last summer I seem to have lost a significant part of my sense of smell. The old sniffy-sniff doesn’t do that much for me these days, and of course this affects my sense of taste as well. As a result, I’m coming to like the over-the-top style more than I used to.

  • Anonymous

    I really only buy Carlisle Zin these days or Seghesio, but much Zin on my radar these days but i wish I could drink more of it..






    1-2-3 times that


    Merlowwww tonite…..

  • Anonymous

    I like the Seghesio but have to admit that even this one is sometimes to big and, more important, I feel it a little to sweet. I have the 2008 in my cellar which is as I said to sweet. I prefered the 2006.

    QOTD. I prefer elegant wines with lots of different aspects in it. I have to tell you that before two years ago I loved the big ones and I still do if they are not a one dimensional taste; not just power.

  • interesting thoughts Erik, thnx man

  • Will do it and thnx for adding ur two cents!

  • Mr Buzz I have on outpost in the past but didnt kill em this time

  • Sorry guys 🙁

  • KevO

    I do like the Biale Black Chicken, won a blind tasting event with it.

    QOTD: I have been drinking more value bsade wines since the economy hit the Mortgage Bankers so badly. I used to have a 20+ case cellar filled with higher end wines, now that’s all gone. I must say that I just bought 3 bottles of 2007 R Collection by Raymond Field Blend, $11.99 at Total Ws. Wow, that’s all I can say, classic Cal Cab features with 6 other varietals to give it that Wow Factor. I’m buying more for my Christmas persent to myself…

  • Andy

    Zin is the only real patriotic/national pride choice, so it’s closely tied with Thanksgiving. So much so that most of us don’t take a step back and realize it overwhelms almost everything on the table. Zin’s often port-like abv doesn’t bode for anyone when its consumed for hours.

  • Wineweirdos

    Love the Seghesio, love that I can just pick it up whenever im at costco. Have a 06 Turley Pesenti lined up for Thanksgiving. Turley is spotty, but this one is a killer. We liked some Zins we got from a Sonoma producer called Wine Guerilla recently on our podcast http://www.wineweirdos.com

    Cheers! Mike


    2005 Sterling Vineyards, Napa Valley, Merlot.

    Very nice, obviously a bit of oak, but not too bad. At least in the second half of the bottle, the oak was gone… Cherry, minty, leather. Good balance, nice acid. 89+p.

    Cheers ya’ll! and have a great weekend..

  • Veez


    Palate these days is all about Zin for Turkey Day & football…. moving towards Cab into the New Yr & a little Pinot Noir Chandon, just enjoyed your prev guest from N Calif/Argentina) Catena’s Vineyard had their 2006 Cab Sauv.. great structure, fruit,balanced… no oak… very nicely priced at $19 great recommendation checking the 08 malbec next
    Seghesio Zin is very good, moving up the price charts though… Go Jets!

  • rhonedrinker

    I still love rhone wines but, I’ve been getting a bit into Burgundy a bit more lately. Both Red and White. I just can’t afford them. I also have been Drink some nice Bordeaux without breaking the bank. A solid BIG Northern Rhone Syrah still is tops.

  • Anonymous

    Again (and yes, I know I’m getting redundant), if you haven’t already (and because you used the word “big” N.Rhone) you really must give “The Deal” and M.C.K. (Motor City Kitty) Syrah’s from K Vintners (or any one of their other single-vineyard Syrah’s…the two mentioned are just the best value), as well as other Washington state producers (Long Shadows ‘Sequel’; Gramercy, Betz ‘La Serenne’, and, of course, Cayuse (if you can beg, borrow, or find any), etc… All are very rich, complex, and impeccibly balanced and very Northern Rhone-like. And you’re right…Burg has gone insane with the $$$…only millionaires need apply.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, Turley is ‘spotty’…they range from otherworldly to just barely tremendous. Enjoy the Pesenti; had the ’07 a few months ago – maybe the greatest Zin I’ve ever had, all things considered – and I’ve been a enophile for 30+ years! It will undoubtably go wonderfully with the turkey (or even by itself, the way I had it). Happy T-give.

  • Anonymous

    These folks simply don’t realize how lucky they are you still even DO the show, with all the other “irons in the fire” of your hectic career, family, work, travel, etc. Do what you can or what you want. Happy T-givin’.

  • Anonymous

    EVERYBODY’S weird in one way or another – GVs no different. Look past it and move on. Chilled is fine; cold is too much and mutes the flavors. There must be (as in everything in life) a happy middle ground. Hey, maybe you and Gary could have a blind quartz-sucking tasting…”This is undoubtably NZ quartz from the north island…with nuances of moss growing on the north side…what are you picking up on the suckie-suck?”

  • Anonymous

    Monster Magnet, Sonic Youth, and (of course) Post Stardom Depression.

  • Anonymous

    I like your attitude, bro. Me, I’m pratically LOCKED in that ‘safe.’

  • GV do the primitivo vs CA Zin show would be fun
    my palate going down the toilet
    can’t spot a earthy notes from brett

  • GermanChemist

    My Palate changes every 2-3 years. The last two changes were from French Pinot Noir to Italian Brunello and Amarone and recently to Bordeaux

  • TommyB

    QOTD: good question by the way Gary; my pal is getting more into fizz – don’t know why really. Also its seemed to have maintained constant for years now – still into old world reds and whites, Loire Valley, Italy, Rioja, Languedoc, Riesling, right bank Bordeaux, Burgundy, Portugal, Greece, Nebbiolo, Alsace, Hungary sweeties. The list could go on – have to admit though I tried a Zin recently and they are very nice – they sort of lure you in even though you know you should’nt – a bit like the girl who wears too much make up but is still fit as!


    How are the British Sparkling Wines? Ridgeview, Chapel Down, Nyetimber??? Have you ever tried any of them??? curious here….. 🙂

  • Cubatobaco (Ray)

    What are the Jets going to do? 2 mins left, down by 3….

  • Cubatobaco (Ray)

    And Santonio Holmes come thru!

  • Matti

    My palate is on vacation.

  • Matti

    I quite like the Ridgeview and Nyetimber. They are not spectacular as such but worth a try if you can get your hands on them. The local markets here in the UK price them around the big champagne houses’ NV prices.


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