I first discovered Four Vines Zinfandels a couple years ago at the Cincinnati International Wine Festival, where they instantly became my favorite wines out of hundreds at that event. And yet I had never heard of them before that event.
In my conversation with one of the reps, she shared that Four Vines refuses to send their wines for review by the major publications. Their rationale was that when you start doing that, you run the risk of producing wine for the tastes of the reviewers rather than producing what the winemaker thinks is best. I know that since then, they have been reviewed by some wine publications, such as Wine Spectator, but I don’t know if they sent samples to them or if the folks at ‘Spectator heard so many good things that they sought out a bottle for themselves. I will say that Four Vines did not send me a sample… I ponied up to dough to add this to my tasting lineup due to past good experience with the brand… and this tasting didn’t disappoint me.
Four Vines was founded by Christian Tietje, who started the winery with an obsession on Old Vine Zinfandel. Although they do produce a few other varieties these days, they are best known for their Zinfandel. They produce a good half dozen different Zinfandels, of which the “Old Vine Cuvee” is the most affordable. Most of the others wouldn’t be considered “cheap” by our standards… but I assure you, they are really good.
Red raspberry, blackberry, clove and a wisp of vanilla give a nice bouquet to the Old Vine Cuvee Zinfandel. Although, I’d like a little more intensity to those aromas. Red fruits are the first thing to jump out on the palate, like raspberry and strawberry. A nice, ripe plum flavor comes in after that along with some spicy black pepper, followed by vanilla on the finish. The acidity is nearly perfect, making the flavors bright and lively. It also has a rather velvety mouth feel, which is nice.
For the price, this Zinfandel can’t be beat.
Wine: Four Vines – Old Vine Cuvee
Find Four Vines – Old Vine Cuvee Zinfandel with Snooth