by Fred McMillin
for May 13, 1998

The Spell of Zinfandel


Prof. George Husmann in 1887: "I have yet to see the red wine of any varietal, which I would prefer to the best samples of Zinfandel produced in California. Unfortunately, these BEST samples are like angels visits, few and far between."

The Rest of the Story

Have I ever got one of those "best samples" for you! It's the top Zinfandel my tasters have sampled in over a year. Let's look at the background of this gem, vintage 1995.

The 1994 was selected as one of the top 50 wines in the world by Anthony Dias Blue's "Bon Appetite."

About the 1995, the winemaker says "it is quite possibly the best Zinfandel we've ever produced. The wonderfully ripe fruit was harvested in September 1995, which arguably is the greatest vintage of the 1990's."

Conclusion: This has to be one of the best Zinfandels you'll taste this year. Here it is.  

The Wine

1995 Reserve Zinfandel, Hendry Vnyd., Napa Valley
Rosenblum Cellars, Alameda, CA.
Winemaker (and founder)—Zin-master Kent Rosenblum has had incredible success with Prof. Husmann's favorite grape...for example, he recently had three different Rosenblum Zins rated in the top 100 wines of the world. One was the Hendry.
Tasting Notes—Blackberry-cherry plus 100% French oak. Rating is EXCELLENT.
Phone—(510) 865-7007
Price—$25 range.


Of the 58 red wine varieties crushed in California last year, the leader was Zinfandel at 420,000 tons. A distant second at 234,000 tons was Cabernet Sauvignon. (Source: Gladys Horiuchi, Wine Institute, [415] 356-7525).

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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