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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > NEW WORLD: Zinfandel & Pinotage

Winner Details

New World: Zinfandel & Pinotage

2017 Gold: 2 Silver: 2 Bronze: 4 Commended: 7
2016 Gold: 2 Silver: 0 Bronze: 3 Commended: 6

There seems to be a contradiction here between what our tasters think these wines ought to be (cheap and cheerful) and the styles they like (mostly expensive). Our two Golds here this year added up to a total of almost £40 before VAT.

Perhaps it’s because both styles are seen as an optional extra rather than a must-list that our judges feel so self-indulgent – or perhaps it’s just that we’ve been reading these styles wrong down the years and you really need to be prepared to spend big to get something good. Answers on a postcard please…


‘In terms of food pairing the Pinotages need meat: barbecue, or stew – food that has power and intensity.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘These were good and consistent, and all very obviously Zinfandel. They’re so typical and identifiable. We saw excellent winemaking here, with nice structure to the wine. The fruitiness would serve as a sauce on its own when pairing these with food.’ Angela Reddin, team leader

‘At the £15-£20 mark these Pinotages were good, with integration, spiciness, and everything in balance. The entry-level prices were more difficult.’ Julien Sahut, Sexy Fish

‘I’m in a restaurant where we serve refined dishes that could be overpowered by these Zinfandels, but they’d work for a different style of restaurant.’ Geoffray Bénat, Cépages Wine Bistro

‘The Pinotages surprised me in a good way. I wasn’t expecting them to be quite so balanced. I definitely think these have their place on a wine list.’ Dan Cohen, Cépages Wine Bistro


Award winners

Found 7 wines

New World: Zinfandel & Pinotage

Seghesio, Zinfandel 2015, Sonoma County, California, USA

Gold medal winner

Classic Zin from Seghesio, and a worthy recipient of the Gold. ‘Aromas of tobacco and dried herbs with blackcurrant and leafy tea notes,’ began Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan, who enjoyed its ‘well-integrated oak and high tannins on the palate, ripe and rounded character with good acidity and cherry notes on a savoury finish’. ‘Intense blackberry and spiciness, leading to a rich and smooth palate with good balance,’ thought Cépages Wine Bistro’s Geoffray Bénat, while team leader Martin Lam thought it had ‘well-integrated fruit and oak, as well as freshness and fruit ripeness – great with gamey stews’.

£17.50 Liberty Wines

Delicato Family Vineyards, Gnarly Head, Old Vine, Zinfandel 2015, Lodi, California, USA

Silver medal winner

‘Tobacco and sweet spices with black fruit on the nose, big and bold on a dry palate, fleshy with good structure and a sweet aftertaste of kirsch and violets,’ said Diana Rollan of Hakkasan Group, while team leader Angela Reddin was impressed with its ‘really nice balance, smoky and leathery nose with fruit bursting out on the palate, giving blackcurrant pastille and rich cherry notes’.

£11.52 Bibendum

Renwood, Zinfandel 2014, Amador County, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

Diana Rollan of Hakkasan Group found that this ‘invites you to keep drinking’, with its ‘plum, liquorice, tobacco and cedar wood aromas, savoury and ripe, rounded balance on the palate and good freshness’. ‘Lovely balance and poise for such a powerhouse,’ added team leader Angela Reddin.

£12.98 Bibendum

Sebastiani, Zinfandel 2014, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Angela Reddin enjoyed this wine’s ‘blueberry compote spice aromas and lovely intensity of rich fruit in the mouth’, and felt it had ‘just enough tannin and acidity to give structure and freshness’. ‘Characterful, fruity, nice and chocolatey with a minty bitterness, but well integrated, too,’ added J Corey Evans of St Swithins Wine Shippers.

£9.72 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Boutinot, Burlesque, Old Vine, Zinfandel 2015, Lodi, California, USA

Commended medal winner

£6.09 Boutinot

Cline Cellars, Nancy's Vines, Zinfandel 2015, California, USA

Commended medal winner

£12.51 Boutinot

Dry Creek Vineyards, Old Vine, Zinfandel 2013, California, USA

Commended medal winner

£17.45 Bibendum


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