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Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 12.43.52 PMWhen becoming a winemaker I would imagine that you would have to make a choice between making one generically good wine or different tiered wine. I have noticed that quite a few vineyards in California seem to have a tiered wine model. I would assume this would be so that you have a mass distributed wine and more niche wines for the local community.

If you look at the Saini Vineyards website, in which I am reviewing their 2011 Saini Vineyards Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, it has five different Zinfandel wines on their site and this is not one of them. The 2012 and 2013 vintages are there but they also have special “olive,” “pear,” and “apple” blocks, which I think I have one of those in my cellar. They retail at $38, while their regular Dry Creek Zinfandel wine retails for $24.

The 2011 Saini Vineyards Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel comes from Underground Cellars and with some playing with the url I was able to find that you could still download their tasting sheet for this vintage. Here is their tasting notes from the winery:

Tasting Note – The 2011 Dry Creek Zinfandel is a classic blend featuring grapes from four different blocks throughout the vineyard. That provides a spectrum of fruity flavors ranging from blackberry and cherry to dry spicy notes of black and white pepper. Well integrated tannins, typical of bench grown Dry Creek Zinfandels, add to the long finish.

So how was it?

Color – Deep dark red.

Nose – Black cherry, smoked cedar, and possibly basil.

Taste – Plum, black cherry and licorice.

Finish – Long with medium to high acid and bold rounded tannins.

Overall, this is a pretty smooth and balanced Zinfandel. It isn’t too complex on the taste but it is definitely fruit forward. I liked this one a lot and I think that maybe their nicer ones will build on this and be more complex. I hope it is true but if is their “worst” bottle then I can’t wait for what is next.

Rating: B+

~Justin