(2022) The 75% zinfandel is blended with 24% syrah and 1% petite sirah, the whole lot aged 22 months in oak, 20% new. Big, spicy, plump and ripe, there's a hint of volatility to blackberry and very ripe plum aromas. These lead on to a palate that is chewy and dense, the fruit packed on top of a stripe of tannin and plum skin acidity in a big-hearted mouthful of steak-friendly red.
(2021) The blend here is Zinfandel, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre and Grenache in a big and generous style. No mention of the oak regime in the notes for this but it certainly sees some oak influence with a mocha coffee and fudge-depth to the aromas. Sweet and creamy on the palate this is formulaic, a dollop of sugar, super-ripe berries, tannins surgically removed and acid balanced on fresh cherry. It's fairly cynical, but fire up the barbie and it will be a winner.
(2020) A big and bountiful Californian red blend of 80% Zinfandel, with 10% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petite Sirah, blended and matured for 16 months in American oak. Creamy, spicy and voluptuous on the nose, there's tons of blueberry and plum fruit, before the palate that is sweet-fruited and Christmas-cake spiced, rich and full, but with a fairly firm tannin background and cherry-pit acidity giving more spice and savouriness on the finish. A juicy steak or anything from the chargrill with this one.
(2019) From Lodi in the northern central valley, between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the blend is 79% Zinfandel, 20% Petite Sirah and 1% of the red-fleshed Alicante Bouschet. Matured for 18 months in French oak, it comes from vineyards first planted 100 years ago, and is a big fruitcake-rich style of wine, overflowing with plum, spice and plump Agen prune, the palate delivering a bucketload of fruit, all given an edge by a keen raspberry acidity, the alcohol big and powerful and the finish coated with a sheen of oak.
(2017) From Lodi in northern Californian, just inland from San Francisco, comes this fragrant and fruit-filled old vines Zinfandel, which would make an interesting Christmas day alternative to classic Bordeaux or Burgundy wines. It has a really arresting fragrance, high and floral notes, incense-like with raspberry and sasparilla, moving through to a fleshy plum sweetness of fruit, silky-smooth tannins and a nice acid balance that give it the edge to be food-friendly and not at all overblown. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2017) Rather a nice and unusual Pinot, the fruit being sourced from three different California appellations, mostly from Monterey, just south of San Francisco, and also from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara tracking south towards Los Angeles. Lots of aromatics here, Chinese dried plums, clove and tobacco, touches of floral character and quite bright cherry too. In the mouth the tobacco warmth of oak adds depth but the silky, supple palate continues to please and impress, smooth, spicy tannins and plum-skin acidity giving a rounded, mellow and most enjoyable finish.
(2013) Though Beringer is based in Napa, there is no Napa designation on this bottle so I presume fruit has come from various Californian regions. It has a pleasant, berry and blackcurrant nose with a layer of sweet vanilla and a touch of spice. Smooth and ripe fruit seems to drive this. On the palate it is much the same picture: there is a juiciness and dark berry-skins richness to this, a hint of spice and some creamy, toasty oak. The finish is a little harsh, perhaps the acidity and tannins just a touch rough compared to the suave sophistication of the Luke Donald wine.