Three vineyards, four Zinfandels and one shared passion for the pursuit of small lot, single-vineyard wines are the driving force behind one of California’s newest wineries, Z-52 . Seasoned winemaker Philip Zorn and veteran wine executive Brent Shortridge wear all the hats at Z-52, and their dedication to distinctive Zinfandels is evident at every turn. The heart and soul of this boutique winery, named for the shared “Z” in both Zinfandel and Zorn, (the 52 references the 52 weeks in a vintage year, 52 rows in Agnes’ Vineyard, and 52 cards in a full deck) is its commitment to producing high-end Zinfandels from some of the oldest vineyards in the Lodi and Amador County regions. Z-52 ‘s minimalist approach to winemaking embraces the notion that terroir and its influence on grape character is essential to producing outstanding Zinfandel.
Deep and dark ruby red with garnet edges. The bouquet shows lush candied blackberry, blueberry, black cherry and soft oak lead to earthen bramble, dusty summertime vineyard row, dark dried flower and a savory herbal component. Smooth and soft on entry, this wine becomes mouthcoating and textured, with a softly dry feel. Medium tannins and a soft acidity guide the wine into a long and lingering finish. Dark and juicy, with bold black cherry, dark strawberry and dark raspberry out in the front. As the wine moves across the palate, earthen flavors of dried leaves, cocoa dust and savory herbs appear on the mid-palate.Very long, with dark fruit eventually giving way to red fruit and the earthen components listed above. At the very end, added flavors appear on the mid-palate, lead by dried leaves and subtle but tasty savory herbs.