Zin Wars – Lake County and Paso Robles

Zin Wars – Lake County and Paso Robles

In these days of high unemployment and global financial crisis, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10 unless noted otherwise.

Two Zinfandels. Two terroirs. Which will come out on top?

Hillgate 2010 Zinfandel Lake County Alcohol 14.9% by volume  $6.99 at Trader Joe’s

On the Label: “Just beyond these gates are majestic hillside vineyards that reach into the untouched and untamed wilderness of a region known for its beauty and clean air, where the wines have become notable for their fruit forward style and awards are more and more abundant. Welcome to Hillgate, “Gate to the Hills” Lake County, California.”

My Take: It used to be that Lake County had a bad name when it came to wines. No longer, apparently.  This Zinfandel had the right amount of spice, a zingy and juicy feel in the mouth, and a readiness to drink. It was still a bit young; I look forward to trying this wine next year. But over all? Yeah. I’d drink it again.

My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~  (Why didn’t I rate it higher? Because it didn’t knock my socks off. I’m thinking it’s still young.)

Eos Estate Winery 2009 Zinfandel Paso Robles Alcohol 13.9% in volume – under $10.

On the Label: “Eos is pure Paso Robles. It is the authentic taste of a quiet, rural, viticulture frontier midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Our approach to winemaking is traditional and natural; our methods are decidedly low tech. We allow the soils and climates of each vineyard site to be clearly heard in our wines. Eos Zinfandel is juicy and lively with flavors of cherry, spice, roasted coffee and tart raspberry.”

My Take: I have no memory of this wine, at all. Which concerns me. My notes are scribbled, but I can make out a “hmmm.”  And a bit of a “well its got some spice”. Which makes me think I wasn’t overly enthusiastic. Not only do I not remember drinking this wine, I can’t remember the meal I had with it – nor did I write that bit down. It’s a blank – but I do remember finishing the bottle. So I didn’t hate it, lol.

My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ Though I must say I should re-visit this wine soon. I usually like Paso Robles wines, and Zins are among my favorites made there. Someone, please give this a try and let me know what you think!

As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depend upon my mood, the weather, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ.

~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~

Demon Soul is available for the Kindle and the Nook! Have you read it yet?

My rating system:  Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!