Our High Elevation Collection is a careful blend of three appellations within Lake County. The clusters from High Valley bring structure and backbone, the Red Hills Appellation contributes lush fruit and ripe characteristics, and Big Valley grapes add tannin and fruit tones to these lively wines.
This Zinfandel has ripe fruit characters of blackberry and plum. The mid-palate is an explosion of spices and fruit, balanced with soft oak notes and a structured finish.
- Joy Merrilees, Director of Winemaking and Production
Vineyard and Winemaking Notes
Shannon Ridge is a family-owned vineyard and winery located in Lake County, California. Our vineyards are certified sustainably farmed thus producing the finest fruit possible. Our mountain grown fruit offers our winemakers a full flavor profile from which they create these robust food-friendly wines.
At Shannon Ridge, we live in harmony with Mother Nature. The vineyards feed the sheep, the sheep feed the vines; lamb feeds the people, people drink the wine and wear wool.
We are dedicated to creating a family of wines that consumers love at top-quality and affordable prices. We are passionate about preserving our land, not only for great vineyard sites, but for the wild creatures which share our property. Our sustainability practices integrate a flock of sheep that clean the vineyards, remove the excess canopy, and reduce the need for chemicals, while providing natural fertilizer.
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What a pleasant surprise I received this week! As a Casemates Kickstarter funder, I received a Lab Rat notification. My first go at this. I’ve been lurking in the background taking advantage of everyone else’s impressions while back on Woot and now on Casemates. I had the pleasure of opening up a bottle of the 2017 Shannon Ridge Zinfandel with my wife and two great friends. So this is a consensus report. The immediate aroma upon opening the bottle was one of fruitiness, leaning towards plum. The cork had a narrow band of color, but no residue or crystal formations. Upon the first pour, a strong sense of fruitiness, again leaning towards plum. A quick swirl in the glass initially had me thinking that’s disappointing- no legs. Then from across the table, my wife said look again, and there were long slow legs developing. We all repeated this several times and it was like the glass was coated evenly, then the legs dropped. It was pretty impressive. The color was a deep garnet, fairly even all the way around the glass, lightening up only at the very edges. Upon our first taste, we felt like there was an initial burst of sweetness, then dryness in the mid palate, then a long finish. Again, plum, but with some spice and oakiness added. To all of us we felt that the acidity was present, as were the tannins. The more we tasted it, the more we liked it. Our overwhelming consensus was that it was a wine we could enjoy drinking without any food, but it would hold up to a nice steak very well. I’m doing baby backs and beef back ribs, but that will be another 8 hours before they are ready. I’ll try to stave off the Mongols so that there is a little left.
We did not see any residue in our glasses or in the bottle. Our second round was sipped after the wine was taken through a Venturi. This seemed to result in a more blended mouth feel, again with a long, structured finish. We liked it even more after the aeration. For such a young wine, this is ready to enjoy now, and likely will continue to improve with time. I usually am drawn to Scott Harvey, Wellington and Pedroncelli Zinfandels, and I thought this compared very favorably. At this price, very good QPR.
I was thinking that too when I initially read the label but was pleasantly surprised - no heat at all and that is something I’m generally sensitive to. Hehe, I also have to echo @InFrom’s experience with the legs, they really did take an extra moment to drop.
Sorry this is late, had it mostly ready to go last night and got sidetracked today.
Fair disclaimer - This is my first review. I have a poor to mediocre sense of smell, relatively unsophisticated palate and am a long way from being a wine aficionado. That said I do know what I like and am happy to share my perception, ergo; ursus malevolum giganticus nunc rattus laboratorium.
Cork felt really soft when I first inserted the screw so I had a brief initial note of panic but it came out perfectly. No crystallization just a purple stain at the very end. I don’t see a lot of discussion on packaging design but if you like to keep the corks this one is nicely printed with their logo and winery info. I also like the label design, classy with beige background, light use of graphics, mostly dark lettering, splash of red lettering and gold embossing.
PNP: Deep purple color, medium bodied but a bit lighter than I’d expected. As advertised definite berry / plummy fruit up front. Some tannin and maybe some of that oak going down Going to let it sit in the bottle a bit to see if I get anything else.
About an hour and a half later. Has loosened up a little. Maybe some spice in the aroma but I can’t tell what it is. Softer in the mouth now. I notice the tannins more and a bite (acid?) coming in after the pucker. Not really picking up on the spice in the mouth. Had a bit of gorgonzola on crusty french baguette with this. I think I would have preferred this wine with brie, the salty gorgonzola was a bit much for both of us.
Dinner, about 5 hours after opening. The initial fruit seems a bit subdued now but it went very nicely with baby back ribs, cilantro lime coleslaw and lightly smoked potato wedges.
I vacu-vin’d the remaining 1/3rd bottle and will stuck it in the fridge to try late Sat afternoon/evening.
Overall pleased with this wine. I am looking forward to trying this with burgers and maybe some Asian flavored chicken dishes. I’d also like to hear from the winemakers regarding what they think its potential is over the next few years but at this price point I’m happy to grab a case now.
Just a quick followup. After giving it the vacuum treatment and a night in the fridge I had the last large glass this evening. It weathered the night well, drinking pretty much the same with maybe a bit less but still plenty of fruit. My nose / palate only ever picked up on hints of the spice and oak but I’m sure that was more me as @JCHambleton noted them both in their review.