Localization: Napa Valley, California
Tasting Notes: Wines of forwarding fruit, supple balance, and sensual promise. If the exuberance of youth is a key to your enjoyment of Zinfandel, this is your wine.
94 points Wine & Spirits: While Eastern Exposures (also recommended here) may prove to be longer lived than the Mayacamas Range zin from 2016, this wine is more compellingly delicious right now. “I was happy this was in my mouth,” said Jared Hooper of LA’s Faith & Flower when he tasted it. Maria Garcia from the Wine House in Santa Monica described it as “pinot-noir-esque, with more of the weight I want in zinfandel.” In fact, when our pourer, Lewis Hurrell, was griping to me about a ZAP tasting he’d attended, I suggested he taste this wine, along with another (the Storybook Reserve). “Those wines changed my mind about zinfandel,” he told me later. So, if you don’t think of zinfandel as lively, zesty and fresh, a sleekly fruited backdrop for the scent of a meadow in June, try this wine. I can’t guarantee you’ll like it, but I would wager that you will.
The Domain: Storybook Mountain is a winery totally dedicated to Zinfandel and has established a worldwide reputation for consistently high quality. The Zinfandel tradition began at Storybook Mountain in the early 1880s when its red clay-loam hillsides in the Mayacamas Range were first planted to this varietal. Here, the perfect match of estate and grape allows Zinfandel to show its true potential. Storybook Mountain's sought-after estate wines are carefully hand-crafted from choice grapes grown without the use of insecticides or herbicides. They are aged at least 12 months in the best French and American oak barrels, inside century-old caves dug deep into the mineral-rich volcanic rock underlying the hand-tended vineyard. Proprietor Jerry Seps' Zinfandels are famed for elegance and longevity. Raspberries, black cherries, and spice are the keynote of these complex, well-balanced wines.