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As the trees begin to loose their leaves and the air grows cool and crisp, hearty dishes, like stews or sausages, will be at the center of more dinner tables.  Of course, with a robustly flavored dish, one wants a bold wine, like Zinfandel.  Here are a few that our tasting panel enjoyed for under $20.

Predator 2015 “Old Vines” Zinfandel

Grape(s): Zinfandel

Region: Lodi, Ca

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

Compelling aromas of bacon, smoke and red berries jump from a glass. Strawberry and blackberry flavors frame the palate, accented by elements of apple wood smoke bacon, dark chocolate, and white pepper. There’s ample jammy fruit and bold, smoky flavors that come together nicely in this wine, making it a good match for a spicy beef stew.

Rating: 90

 

Opolo 2015 “Summit Creek” Zinfandel

Grape(s): Zinfandel

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

A nice combination of raspberries and boysenberries mix with maple and clove on the nose. Smooth on the palate, strawberry, raspberry, and bramble berry flavors coalesce among maple, clove, and dark chocolate. Not a big, jammy, spicy Zin but it is quite approachable. Pair with Baby-Back ribs.

Rating: 89

Peachy Canynon 2015 “Westside” Zinfandel

Grape(s): 79% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 7% Primitivo, & 6% Alicante Pouschet

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Cherries, blackberries, and raspberries form a fruit core that melds with suggestions of anise, vanilla, and spice on the nose. Polished tannins carry flavors of blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry into whispers of licorice, all-spice, and a little smoke on the palate. Lighter in body but bursting with flavors, gourmet sausages  would make a nice pairing.

Rating: 90