91pts Wine & Spirits
If you tasted this not knowing it was zinfandel, the wine’s herb-edged earth-tone aromas of green olive, beetroot and black loam might have you thinking blaufrankisch. From a relatively warm hillside in Sonoma’s cool coastal hills, it’s an unusual zinfandel, but a compelling one, firm in its structure, with no hint of sweetness or raisining. Air brings out its snappy, dark blue fruit and peppercorn spice, making it feel more like zinfandel, just speaking in a resolutely cool-climate accent. Decant this or age it a few years to soften its hard edges.
The 2013 Zinfandel Lemorel Estate is certainly a good wine, but following these sublime Pinots and Syrahs is a tall task. The wine’s searing acidity and considerable tannin will both require a considerable amount of time to settle down. It is a pretty safe bet most bottles will be long gone before the wine is really at its best. Readers who can be patient will be rewarded with an intense, dark Zinfandel full of personality.