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Is Zinfandel A First-Class Varietal?

Post destruction. The wines we tastedby Andrew Chalk

I first encountered Zinfandel as a student when I tasted Ridge Vineyards ‘California Coast Range’ Zinfandel for what was, for an impoverished graduate student, a king’s ransom of $6.99. It is no longer made, but that wine engaged me to hunt out Zinfandel:  a fruity, forward, red wines that offered a (usually) lower-priced alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. I did not know at the time that Zinfandel was an almost universally scorned blending grape that was the backbone of such headache-inducing abominations as Gallo Hearty Burgundy.  Continue reading

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