Veteran Randall Johnson has been making Zinfandel for 20 years, and with the Artezin project he looks to avoid the variety’s heavy-handed pitfalls. Mendocino County is on the coast north of San Francisco, where the sunny days and cool nights discourage Zinfandel from getting overripe and pruney. Instead it ripens slowly and evenly, retaining its brightness and spice in a medium-bodied Zin style that has almost as much in common with nearby Sonoma Pinot Noir as it does with California’s richer red styles.
What The Critics Say
93/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim
"Wonderfully fruited and perfumed, the wine is fabulously fragrant on the nose showing blackberry, plum jam, bouquet garni, cedar and vanilla characters. The palate delivers excellent concentration and expansive mouthfeel, superbly framed by loads of silky tannins. It is opulent and comforting with layers of delectable flavours. At its best: now to 2022."
92/100 Wine Enthusiast (2016 vintage)
"Saturated with dark, almost jammy fruit flavors, this is an extremely flavorful and nicely dry wine that also has great structure. An intensely dark color leads to blackberry and boysenberry aromas, distinctive blackberry and black-pepper flavors and a rich mouthfeel that is well-laced by fine-grained tannins."
18-/20 Raymond Chan (2016 vintage)
"Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red with purple hues. Youthful in appearance. The nose is softly full and gently voluminous with ripe fruit aromas of blueberries and dark raspberries. The fruit is expressed with finesse and builds in depth and intensity with aeration, unfolding some liquorice and spice notes. Full-bodied, the palate has sweet and succulently rich flavours of blueberries and dark-red berry fruits, along with a little jam, fruit-cake and nutty oak. The fruit sweetness is underlined by fine-grained tannin extraction lending an elegant core and line with balanced, ripe acidity. The flavours flow smoothly to a fine-textured finish of sweet berry fruit and jam notes. This is a gently sweet and rich Zinfandel with blueberry, fruit-cake, spice and jam flavours on a fine-textured palate. Match with game meat dishes over the next 4+ years. A blend of 84% Zinfandel, 14% Petite Sirah and 2% Carignan from Mendocino, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged in predominantly French oak. 18.0-/20 Jan 2018 RRP $35.00."
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