This Zinfandel has always been a great value, and it must be successful in the marketplace because its release date has been earlier and earlier over the years. This 2009 vintage wine was available in the market in Fall 2010, only one year after the vintage.
It's ripe and plummy, and a little hot seeming in the nose. (the label reports 14.9% alcohol, the winery tasting notes suggest 14.2%). It is quite ripe, very clean, and fairly short in flavor. It's not a sweet wine, but it has a sweet fruit character, with gentle acidity and soft tannins. The flavors lean towards a dark berry jelly character, as opposed to a ripe jammy character. There's a little earthiness, some black pepper, and a hint of smoke. The heat of the alcohol doesn't transfer from nose to mouth.
This one is all up-front and fruity, very gulpable, and a good candidate for mild chilling for a warm weather BBQ (if you haven't thought about chilling reds for warm weather festivities, you should consider it … just pick fruit driven, not tannic wines). The winery suggests that the wine will reward up to five years of bottle aging, but I wouldn't bother. Drink it up, and enjoy the ripe fruit now.
A good pairing for warm weather grilling, this Zin includes 3% Petite Sirah and was aged in older French and American oak. The older oak must have been fairly neutral in character, for it doesn't lend much oaky character to this wine.
There were 10,160 cases of this wine bottled, so it should be pretty easy to find. Suggested retail is $13.00. I paid $11.99 for 750ml.
Shenandoah Vineyards is in Plymouth, California, in the Sierra Foothills. It was founded in 1977 by Shirley and Leon Sobon (Leon was a Lockheed senior scientist). They established a vineyard and winery in the Shenandoah Valley of Amador County, and created Sobon Estate a decade later, when they purchased the historic D'Agostini winery in 1989. Sobon Estate and Shenandoah Vineyards (they market under both labels) is a family operation, with Leon and Shirley, two sons and a son-in-law working the business. All their wines are fairly priced.