Today, the 12 Days of Zin stops in Amador County. Without question, it's Zinfandel that the folks in Amador County are best know for producing. That's not to say they don't make some other varietals very well, because they do. But Zinfandel is their calling card to the wine world. Sobon Estate was founded in 1989, but the family has a history in Amador dating back over 30 years. They make an array of wines, including quite a few Zinfandels. Today I'll look at three of their Zinfandel releases. The 2006 Sobon Estate Old Vines Zinfandel is 90% varietal. Barbera (6%), Syrah (2%), and Sangiovese (2%) are also blended in. This wine was aged in a combination of older French and American oak. 11,000 cases of this release were produced and the suggested retail price is $13.95
This wines nose is full of jammy berry fruit and a touch of Cinnamon that emerges more prominently as the wine opens up. The palate leans towards intense dry fruit and berry flavors that are very rich and concentrated. The finish has a touch of sour cherry along with black pepper and earth that emerges as it opens up. While full of jam fruit this wine has good acidity and will pair well with ribs and other BBQ items. For a price point under $15 and wide availability this is the sort of Zin to consider grabbing a case of as it a good value and a crowd pleaser that you won't mind opening any night of the week.
The 2006 Sobon Estate Rocky Top Zinfandel is 92% varietal with the balance comprised of Petite Sirah (4%), Carignane (2%) and Barbera (2%). The fruit for this selection is 100% organic and from their Estate Vineyards. 4,050 cases of this Zin were made and the suggested retail price is $17.
Cedar and vanilla notes lead the nose followed by dark and light berry fruit notes. Cherry, both red and black, is the most dominate fruit through the palate of this Zin. The mid-palate features some black tea notes that linger and carry through to the finish which has black pepper and a ton of spice in general along with tobacco notes, continued cherry and a touch of bramble. This Zinfandel has good acidity and balance. While it's pleasing out of the bottle, a solid hour in the decanter at this point in it's evolution is recommended to get this wine to show at its best. It drinks well on its own but will be best served by matching it with hearty, full flavored cuisine.
The 2006 Sobon Estate Hillside Zinfandel is widely available for close to $10. As with the other Zins from Sobon I'm looking at today it's finished with a screw top closure.
The nose of this Zinfandel bursts out of the glass with fresh red berry pie notes accompanied by an undercurrent of vanilla and nutmeg spice. Berry compote along with spice and light earth emerges throughout the palate of this offering. The finish features some wild strawberry notes along with continued spice and vanilla notes. This a fruity, concentrated wine that's quite lovely. It belies its price-point providing truly spectacular value. As with the other Sobon Zins it certainly benefits from decanting. This is a balanced wine with good acidity. It'll pair nicely with a burger, mushroom based dishes or strong cheeses.
The Sobon Estate wines I've looked at today have several hallmarks. They are well balanced, with concentrated, rich flavors. And without exception they are excellent values within their price points. These wines are generally available, I highly recommend picking them up and experiencing the excellent things the Sobon family is doing with Zinfandel.
Up Next: The 12 Days of Zin Continues!
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