Our 2014 Sivas-Sonoma Old Vine Zinfandel offers aromas of black and rainbow peppercorns, coriander, over ripe raspberry and pomegranate jam. A cedar perfume note is evident from the 12–14 months aging in American oak.
On the palate, this full-bodied wine features black cherry, black pepper and fruity baking cocoa and bittersweet chocolate. Our Zinfandel has a rich, juicy mouthfeel, long-lasting finish and is a perfect expression of an assertive but elegant wine.
Enjoy it with Indian-spiced short ribs, meatball and Provolone sub sandwich, or dry-rubbed salmon tacos with tomatillo-avocado slaw.
Owners: Don Sebastiani & Sons
Location: Sonoma, CA
The name Sivas (SEA-vis) is the modern-day Turkish derivation of “Sebasteia,” the city named for Emperor Augustus two thousand years ago, and the historical origin of our surname.
“My grandfathers were pioneers in Sonoma, paving the way for this area to become known as Wine Country. Sivas-Sonoma is my way to pay homage to their legacy. By staying close to home, and by working in partnership with Sonoma’s most skilled grapegrowers, Sivas-Sonoma wines embrace Sonoma’s historical appellations and winemaking spirit.”
CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NV, NH, NM, NY, NC, ND, OR, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, WI
FedEx Ground: Monday, February 19th - Wednesday, February 21st
LW and I had a bottle of the Sivas-Sonoma Zinfandel last Friday night. As always, I make sure not to read any information about the wine in advance, so as not to prejudice my thoughts. My first sensation, on opening, was a lot of heat, and some aromas that I couldn’t identify. Nothing typical of what I expect to find in a Zinfandel, especially from that region. The first sip didn’t reveal much else, a lot of heat, some dark fruit, but I couldn’t get anything that said Zinfandel to me, and our CT inventory shows more Zin than any other varietal. We tried drinking it with pizza, but the food didn’t really help at all. Given its pedigree, I expected a lot more, but the 15% alcohol seemed just too much to overcome. I didn’t get the sensation that the bottle was flawed, it just didn’t float my boat at all. YMMV.
@ddeuddeg Thanks for the honest review. I agree with @chipgreen about those reviews being hard to write, but I also think that is what makes this place and TSFKAWW so special. The fact that you can post a thumbs down review and not have it taken down by mods is very important to many of us who have been customers of @Winedavid49 for years. It’s one of the top five reasons why l’ve been a customer for so long.
@ddeuddeg Great job and thanks for always being honest!! I think by now, after following WW all those years, we know your character and honestly while also noting that your palate aligns with many of ours! Even though OH wasn’t on the list, I saw Old Vine Zinfandel and thought ALRIGHT. Then I saw the price, hmmmm. But with an open mind, I felt that we’ve come across great wines, great deals before! I have to go back and see what vintage this may be. Darn selective reading when I see Old Vine ZIn!!! BTW - Shout out to bahwm!!!
@NightGhost No, not incredibly high for a) zin, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something to watch out for. Most of the better zins are going to be well over 14 (some of my Turleys are an eye-popping 15.9, and I swear I’ve seen higher), but my body would rather drink something in the 13.5 range. Because neither I, nor my liver, are young anymore.
@NightGhost said 15% alcohol isn’t so high for a Zin - even an Old Vine Zin.
Well, that’s a matter of opinion. I remember many decades when Zin above 14% was rare (and this was when most wine was labeled 12.5%, which allows 1.5%+ or - leeway, but >14% had to be within 0.1%). The first Zinfandel I remember labeled above 14% was a '75 or ‘76 Montevina from Amador County. I had lots of Gus’ and Sam’s Zins in the '60s and '70s and most of them had red berry fruit and distinctive Zin aroma.
I know it’s gotten harder, given preferences and market pressures, to keep the alcohol down, but I find it harder and harder to drink high alcohol wines.
@sandbarhappy@rpm I’m not such a “spring chicken” myself, and I remember the days of cooler Zins. But I’ve also had some Zins with alc. as high as 17%. As you also know, alcohol content is not the only factor that makes a wine hot. I’ve had some very pleasant ones at 15%, so I’d rather trust a rat report when the figure is around that.
@NightGhostDe gustibus non disputandum est as has long been said. I’ve had, and occasionally enjoyed, high alcohol Zins. Mostly late harvest variants that were more port-like than anything else. Quady used to make a wickedly good Zinfandel Port (I think the last vintage was '79 or '80, I have a couple of bottles of the '79 left) before he went full Oporto on us like Ficklin…
I’m too old, and life is too short, though for me to buy really high alcohol wines - the port types won’t be ready to drink before I hit my 90s and who knows if I’ll still be drinking big red wine then…
From Wine Enthusiast 12/1/16:
Sivas-Sonoma 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel 90 points
A totally satisfying wine in its bringing together of velvety texture and flavors of pepper steak, juicy red berry and sultry cinnamon. Aged in American oak, it offers length and body in a ripe, rich package.
From Beverage Tasting Institute 5/4/17:
Sivas-Sonoma 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel
88 Points Silver Medal Highly Recommended
Dusty garnet color. Baked, rustic aromas of baked dark fruit pie, strawberry and sage, menthol, and dried leaves with a velvety, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length blistered blackberry and cured meats, Italian leather, plump raisin, and chocolate powder finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins. A crispy Zin with a baked quality.
Regarding sharing, searching around, is there a way to contact other members behind the scenes? PM or whatever? I would hope so since the sharing thing is how this is being presented. If this has been addressed, missed it. I still find the messaging here kind of hard to follow, but I’m trying!
This discussion has come up many times before: The offer states, if purchased through DS&S, the cost is $438 and includes shipping. A case costs $360 on the same site and they do not charge handling, so how was the $78 shipping derived? Shipping to all of the East Coast States that they ship to was basically $59. The closer to the west coast, the shipping was less. If the $438 figure includes an average sales tax estimate, then I would think it would be stated as such along with the shipping. Unless my math is wrong, the additional $19 isn’t accounted for in the description.
@Boatman72 Packaging accounts for a bit of that, but hard to see an additional $20, I agree. Perhaps the stated comparison point should include both elements - the price without shipping and the shipping cost stated along with the location it’s based on. @snapster@dave@WineDavid49
Attempted summary: the case discount value on display via Casemates is derived from both logistics and packaging savings to the Winery as well as organic, pre-existing case discount concepts in the marketplace. To ignore that those exist would be to neglect the full ability of this model to perform.
Yes, the winery literally does look at two outcome price scenarios for what amount to the same bottle of wine. Why? Because it’s smart to have demographic price segmentation in their normal market. We are hacking that.
As to the specifics of @Boatman72’s actual post, I don’t know the price reference data behind the scenes but my guess is they attempted to use a shipping only estimate and not sales tax. Maybe they found a way to pay extra shipping? ¯\ (ツ)/¯
@snapster yes, I know (and agree with) the general method here. It’s a bit rough around the edges when you aren’t totally clear what is included in the "full retail plus shipping"price comparison, is all. It just send hard to get from $360 bottle price to $438 under any scenario that doesn’t include taxes. But tax isn’t included here, so that’s not a totally fair comparison.
It’s a good discount no matter how you slice it. It’s important for the business model to show the savings due to shipping as well. I’m just suggesting transparency in how you arrive at the retail price.
@klezman we felt strongly on this as well but settled on it not being on the front page like it apparently was at wine.woot (opting instead for just the single bottle raw price) We may need to keep thinking about it.
First thing to do, which I’d hope is rather easy, is just take the tax out the comparison price.
After that, you’re apples-to-apples and everything else is a niggly detail, like whether you choose TX or IL or NY as your base shipping price.
In this case, $415 as the base price compared to $100 is plenty solid a deal for all but the most miserly of us.
OK, here are my formerly missing tasting notes! Thanks to the powers that be that sent me such a lovely zin to try. I can’t remember what (or when) the offering was, but we previously purchased a wine by Don & Sons, and I have good feelings about whatever it was that we had.
Bottle arrived on Thursday afternoon. I wasn’t sure when the wine would be offered, so I made the decision to open it that evening. All tasting performed and notes taken without benefit of any reading, other than the labels.
The bottle had an agglomerated cork. I personally would rather see a Stelvin/screw cap, but we all have our opinions. Room temperature, which meant about 63-65 on that day, iirc.
Color is deep garnet, trending to purplish hues in the deeper center of the glass. Possibly orange hints around the edge, but I’m not thinking that the orange is really age-related.
Primary nose is fresh ripe blackberry, spicy, maybe a touch of cloves. Getting some cocoa and yes, a strong whiff of alcohol. Maybe a teeny hint of orange peel? Nose is really nice, but doesn’t stick around very long… after about 5 minutes, I’m not getting much of anything.
Nice acidity, with medium body. Not a super-luscious mouthfeel due to the lighter body, but fine.
Jammy blackberry, spicy… actually, for those familiar with the local berry, it actually tastes like dewberries. Spicy blackberry will do for those that don’t live in or near TX. Some hints of dried plum (not to be confused with prune). That whiff of ETOH makes it a little hot and getting cocoa on the finish (as expected from the nose).
After about 30 minutes, the nose has come back. Pretty similar to the initial scents, but now picking up some herby, brambly notes. The wine really appreciated the little rest. This isn’t much of a surprise, since I opened it a few hours after LSO dropped it off. A little shocky from the journey. Anyway, after that half hour, it is now much more expansive, flavor-wise, and the structure has become much better integrated. The fruit has been pulled into balance with the acidity and the spices, some oak is showing. The nose has become much sweeter and the wine is smooth and balanced. Tannins are present, but well integrated. Finish was pretty short at initial tasting, but a bit more lingering at this point.
As mentioned earlier, this was the first weekend of Mardi Gras, which is a party down here. Not like a NOLA party, but a party nonetheless. We had company, and everyone enjoyed this wine. Dewberry/blackberry with coffee notes seemed to be the general opinion, from fairly uneducated wine drinkers (uneducated about wine, I mean).
I had pegged this with an MSRP in the $20-$25 range, which seems in line with the winery price, so I was more than pleased to see it sold in a $99 case. This is an excellent deal, and I’d buy more if I could. We entertain a lot, and this is a crowd-pleaser. After the initial rounds of tasting, we served it with some jambalaya (shrimp, andouille and chicken) and cornbread, and it did just dandy.
@sandbarhappy Nice Rat Report! Maybe ddeuddeg and I had a bad bottle–although we have had bad bottles in the past and have been able to readily identify them as bad. We opened ours the day after it arrived, so it should have had time to settle a bit after its journey to Buffalo, NY. I, too, have had high alc zins and have been ok with them, but I do prefer mine with less alc. For us, this bottle was not balanced and we just couldn’t get any pronounced flavor or nose.
Maybe there was some issue with temperature during transport?
And I did note that after an initially great nose, the nose went away completely for 1/2 an hour or so.
Pretty interesting. There may be some issue with bottle variation that has helped with getting this to us as such a deal. When I worked in the industry, that was an all-too-common reason for a sweet offering. I’m not meaning to bash the producer, by any means, although there were circumstances where the wine “deal” was all too obviously a dump. This may be just a little persnickety and in need of babying those long chains.
Just my thoughts. Grain of salt and all that. It’s all just so fascinating.