Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the wines discussed here were provided at no cost in exchange for my honest review.
This most recent wine review opportunity brought me face-to-face with a pair of 2014 California zinfandels from Angry Bunch winery. An example hailing from Lodi arrived along with a varietal born in Mendocino, allowing me to note and appreciate the differences between the two. Angry Bunch is said to be named for the boldness of it flavor and style, an attribute born in the usage of old-vine Zinfandel grapes. On that note, these did not disappoint.
2014 Angry Bunch Mendocino Zinfandel
This ruby-colored blend made from Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Alicante grapes leads with a nose full of oaky vanilla, strawberries, and blackberries. Cherry and black currant suggestions lurk in the background, offering up their quieter contributions to an expressive bouquet. Full in body, with tannins that are vocal but refined, its flavor is led by concentrated notes of spiced plums and blackberry with vanilla. Bold acidity joins the tannin to lend a pleasant overall structure to a wine with a tangy, plum-led finish. Drink this one with burgers, pork or beef ribs, grilled lamb, or pizza, and you won’t go wrong.
2014 Angry Bunch Lodi Zinfandel Lodi
A slightly deeper shade of ruby than the Mendocino, the aromatic of this blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Syrah sing about plums, black licorice, and blackberry, with creamy vanilla essences hitting the high note along the upper rim. Smooth tannins contribute good counterbalance to a fruit-driven flavor palette that calls to mind grape jelly and plum preserves. This wine finishes long, with pleasing callbacks to the plums and vanilla, with hints of red berries and baking spice. Grilled meats, spicy pizza, pasta in red sauce, or slow-roasted pork shoulder are the way to go in terms of meal pairings.
This article first appeared on FlavorfulWorld.com.