Home Winners > Winners 2019 > NEW WORLD: Zinfandel

Winner Details

New World: Zinfandel

2019 Gold 1      Silver 2      Bronze 1      Commended 1
2018 Gold 1      Silver 5      Bronze 0      Commended 1

Rather like Pinotage, this really is a category where it would be interesting to see more entries. Somms might, admittedly, approach this flight with the kind of trepidation reserved for a box full of tarantulas. But that’s based on a reputation gained 10-20 years ago, and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that a reasonable percentage of the wines on show now are a lot fresher, lighter and more balanced than what we were seeing around the millennium.

As such, the tasters are generally pleasantly surprised with what they’re tasting, and regularly seem to find a place for at least one Zin on the Gold List. Just think what they could do with a bigger range of wines to choose from.


‘The best ones here had freshness and composure, and didn’t have that confected fruit that was the style that decimated the market for Zinfandel. This new style is great, but the flight we had was all over the place.’ Christopher Delalonde MS, The Dorchester

‘This was a real surprise. They seem to be moving away from the richer, heavy styles and trying to do a bit more with the picking, as well as the winemaking. None of them felt too alcoholic to me. All the minus points have been scrubbed out, resulting in a light, fresh style.’ Angela Reddin, team leader

‘These were more European in style, with tannins that were all very ripe, and not too overpowering. These are still a bit too powerful for by the glass, and to finish a glass would take some food. They would be good for richer dishes, like red meat with a bit of spice, or some creaminess to balance the alcohol of the wine.’ Marco Marcuzzo, Aster Restaurant

Award winners

Found 5 wines

New World: Zinfandel

Sebastiani, Zinfandel 2015, Sonoma County, California, USA

Gold medal winner

Elegance with richness assured this wine’s place on the Gold List. ‘An excellent wine,’ said team leader Angela Reddin. For Markus Dilger of Dilger Sommelier Selection the wine brought a heady mix of ‘plum, date and dark cherries, with earthy notes of leather and sweet cinnamon spice’, while the palate was ‘well balanced and long, finishing with chocolatey smoothness’. There are ‘subtle notes of strawberry jam with clotted cream and scones’, mused Michael Fiducia of The Royal Automobile Club, admiring the ‘elegant nuances on the palate’.

£12.68 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Dry Creek Vineyard, Heritage, Zinfandel 2015, Sonoma County, California, USA

Silver medal winner

‘Intense and complex,’ said Paola Giraldo of Wiltons of this ‘very jammy’ wine with ‘rich tannins, ripened fruit, and intensity’.

£16.42 Bibendum Wine

Bogle, Old Vine, Zinfandel 2016, California, USA

Silver medal winner

For team leader Lionel Periner this Silver medallist was notable for its ‘distinctive Mediterranean herbs, spices and fruits’. ‘The coffee bean palate is medium bodied with some ripe tannins and an elegant finish,’ he added.

£12.77 Enotria&Coe

Kautz Winery, Drifting, Old Vine Zinfandel 2016, Lodi, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

This had ‘sweet, ripe, minty spices, with notes of liquorice, blueberries and vanilla,’ according to Paola Giraldo of Wiltons, who also described a ‘jammy mid-palate, with medium tannins on the length’.

£9.12 Matthew Clark

Gnarly Head, Zinfandel 2016, Lodi, California, USA

Commended medal winner

£11.12 Bancroft Wines