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2002, Napa Ridge Coastal Vines Zinfandel Review 

Over All Rating - "Highly Recommended"

Where we got it and how much it cost. 

Centennial Fine Wines and Spirits in Irving, Texas for $8.99

Where is this wine made. 

Made by Napa Ridge Winery in (no surprise here) Napa County California.  


General Impression of Napa Ridge Coastal Vines Zinfandel, 2002

I warn you right now wine snobs will scoff at this review!

This is exactly why I love Zinfandel!  Is it the best I have had?  No but it is pretty damn good.  My advice to you if you really want to get the most from this one is use the biggest wine glass you have, I mean with a huge bowl.  I tried it in both a typical "red wine glass" then in my huge 22 oz mega red wine glass and the difference was enormous especially on the aromas.

This is just a plain excellent hedonistic zinfandel that lets you linger on it.  You could easily sip this one slowly all night long with good friends and great conversation.  It will do well with typical Zinfandel food but hedonists like me will wallow in it not believing their luck to pick this one up so cheap.  You can normally find it for a dollar or two less then I paid.  Having sampled it a year ago I paid the extra when I found it at Centennial on my way home from work just to see if they extra year had do it well, I was not disappointed.

When younger this wine is much more fruity but it handles age quite nicely.  Now at four years of age it is probably at its prime, still holding the fruit but those tannins have softened.  There probably is not that much of this stuff in 2002 around so grab a bit while you can.  For a mass produced wine this one is just excellent.


What Flavors and aromas are Most Dominant or Evident In This Wine?

The aromas are just too damn cool, smoke, earth and tobacco that tell you this one is different.  Trust me use a big glass in fact try this one in a small and large glass side by side just to smell the difference.  The flavors are striking in contrast to the aroma.  Mostly the flavors are black currant and black cherry with some of the smoke coming through.  There is raspberry too but much less then when the wine is younger.  At the finish you taste vanilla and more smoke.  The tannins are now soft and they give great mouth feel that leave you with more of a cream sensation then the dry tongue feeling that tannins can also deliver.


What foods will this wine go well with?

The two magic words that match any good Zin, RED MEAT and damn this one will be great with a steak.  It will also be good with grilled sausage or brats.  Want to get a bit fancy try grilled lamb chops brushed with olive oil, garlic and rosemary while they grill.


What's Grapes are In Napa Ridge  Coastal Vines Zinfandel, 2002?

Napa Ridge was owned by Beringer when this wine was made but now is owned by Bronco Wine Company.  Neither winery has any info online as to what is in this wine.  We know it must be at least 75% Zinfandel by law. I can't confirm it but my money is on all zinfandel with this one.  The bottle does tell us that all the grapes are from the Lodi area which I have always thought made great zinfandels.


Will I keep it In My Wine Rack, If So How Much?

I am going to lay up a few bottles because I think this one can age nicely.  I am surprised to find that in a wine you can often find for 7 bucks but this one just has a lot of potential.  I don't think it can handle ten years but I think it may be real interesting at say 6-7 so I will put some away to taste in 08 or there about.


Who Is Going to Enjoy This Wine?

No light weights.  Do not give this to a white wine addict as a first red it is an intense wine.  Easier on the palate then a highly tannic cab for sure but this is for those of us that like gnarly zinfandel fruit bombs touched with smoke.  If you are going to like this one you know exactly who you are already.


What Does the Bottle or Vintners Web Site Say About this Wine?

From the Bottle: "Our Lodi Vineyards compel zinfandel grapes to exhibit their most charming qualities.  Carefully executed practices by our winemaker further refine the wine to attain its fullest potential.  Lingering notes of currants, black cherries and raspberries captivate the palate.  The finish is abundant and soft with flavors with vanilla, smoke and the luxuriant texture of velvety tannins".


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