Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Great Zinfandel At Half The Price

California wine négociant Cameron Hughes owns no vineyards and has no official winery.  He sniffs out good wine which has already been produced by established makers, then buys it on the down low with an agreement not to reveal the source.  He then sells the wine online through his wine club - he calls it a wineocracy - bringing top-shelf wines to lower-shelf wallets.  Hughes says he keeps prices low by removing the middleman, the distributor and retailer through which store-bought wines must pass.

Lot 725 Zinfandel Russian River Valley 2018

Hughes says the Lot 725 Zinfandel is sourced from a "pioneering, family-owned estate," one of the oldest in Sonoma County.  The unnamed winemaker has experience in both the Dry Creek and Russian River valleys.  This Zin was aged for more than a year in oak, alcohol hits 15.5% abv and the retail sticker is only $17.  It could easily be much more.

This wine is luscious from the first pour.  Bright red cherries and vanilla notes on the nose show a wonderful balance that is found in good Zinfandel grapes, carefully vinified.  The mouth is full and rich, hefty and zippy at the same time with a beautifully fresh acidity.  I've tasted Zins this good before, but they cost twice as much.

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