Over the last month or so, I’ve very nearly overdosed on zinfandel. First it was a power-tasting at ZAP, the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers 22nd annual event in San Francisco late in January, showcasing literally hundreds of examples of the varietal from nearly 200 producers. Then I spent four days in Paso Robles, one of the fastest growing AVAs in America and a hotbed for zinfandel. If that’s not enough, last weekend I attended a birthday party in Lodi and guess what was being served: zinfandel, of course.
Yet with all of the mind-numbing zin I have sampled and savored at the source, this week’s deal was discovered by young Drew Moffat. . .and it came in over our transom. That’s irritating to me because the 2010 Castoro Cellars Reserve Zinfandel Zinfusion is produced on Rte. 246 in Paso Robles, and I drove past the winery at least a dozen times during my recent excursion. . .without stopping to investigate; nor did I visit Castoro’s table at ZAP. The reason is because this immensely capable winery is familiar to me, and I’ve been on the prowl for new juice.
Castoro’s slogan is “Dam Fine Wine,” and I am compelled to concur with this entry. Like many zinfandels conceived in the harsh soil and blistering heat of Paso Robles, Zinfusion has a distinct familial link to the terrior. It is a lusty survivor of maltreatment that has only made this juice stronger.
The aromas draw you seductively to the glass, but the first sip confirms that this wine is no tart. . .its refined spice and powerful fruit frame a thoughtful blend of grapes from three vineyards:
Winery Description: Zinfusion is a marriage of selected vineyards that complement each other to produce a unique wine that showcases Paso Robles Zinfandel. It has become quite a coveted wine among our customers. The vineyards selected produce intense fruit due to their location and also as a result of the excellent viticulture practiced by the growers. The vineyards for this blend are the Cobble Creek, Whale Rock and Shell Creek vineyard. This is a big wine and can be enjoyed with rich pasta or meat entrees.”
This wine is going to taste even better when you know the pricing. At the winery, Zinfusion is priced at $23 per bottle, $17.25 each for Castoro Wine Club members. At Carpe Vino, our retail price is $19.99, but purchase six or more and you pay just $13.99 per vessel, a savings of almost 40%.
By the Numbers: Zinfusion is 15% alcohol; it was aged for 10 months in American and French oak; just 3,000 cases were produced by winemaker Tom Myers.
We have just 16 cases in stock, and there is no more to be had. Go to the Castoro web site (www.castorocellars.com) and you’ll see the Zinfusion vintage on offer is 2011. So be among the few, the proud, the sated and lance the “Buy Now” button before it is too late. Based on recent zinfandel deals, sometimes responding immediately isn’t fast enough!