Best local zinfandel and Italian-style wines for the holiday
A list of the best Paso Robles wines for the holidays would not be complete without a section on zinfandel. It’s known as the Paso Robles heritage grape varietal. Great zinfandel wines from Paso Robles are typically full-bodied, fruity with aromas of berries, sometimes jammy, and usually of moderate to high alcohol content. They should pair well with roasted turkey, lamb, red meats and anything Italian you might be making for the holidays.
Top Paso Robles zinfandel and Italian-style wines for the holidays
Brochelle Vineyards 2016 Zinfandel – $36
Herbs and spice along with a rich cocoa and black cherry make this wine very luxurious and decadent. Fruit flavors intertwine and play nicely with the savory notes of oak and cracked pepper, with a raspberry finish. This wine is best paired with grilled meats.
Circle B 2015 Zinfandel Reserve – $35
This wine delivers an overall balanced approach of fruit to acidity. Blackberries fruit, leather, cedar bring a rich flavor across the palet. This wine is the perfect pairing with BBQ Ribs. Only 25 Cases were produced.
Circle B Vineyard & Cellars 2014 Zinfandel Reserve – $28
Rich Ruby and Garnet color and fresh berries and plums on the nose. A beautiful balance of fruit on the palate with a hint of cedar, black cherries and a soft oak finish. Only 25 cases were made. This would pair well with filet mignon or a porterhouse steak.
Cypher 2014 Slayer – $60
This rich blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec & Petit Verdot has strong notes of blackberries & raspberries on the nose with hints of black current & cherry. Soft tannins make this a complex wine, hints of toasted oak and vanilla at the finish. Pairs well with beef.
Eberle 2017 Zinfandel – $30
This classic Paso Robles zin won a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition and a Gold Medal at the 2016 West Coast Wine Competition. The palate and nose is filled with blackberry and ripe strawberry with a hint of sarsaparilla and a touch of sweet toasted oak. These grapes were sourced from three outstanding Paso Robles vineyards: Steinbeck, CoCaVin & Wine-Bush. It will pair well with grilled pork and beef.
J Dusi 2016 Paper Street Zinfandel
The Dusi name is synonymous with zinfandel and Janell Dusi exceeds expectations with this Paper Street Zin. It offers dark and intense fruit structure with light spice and big bursts of boldness. Hand harvested from the rugged terrain of the Paper Street Vineyard, it lets the grapes speak for themselves. Listen carefully and you’ll be rewarded.
LXV 2015 Crimson Jewel – $55
This sangiovese blend is a rich medley of blackberries and olallieberries, with underlying notes of nutmeg and clove. The bright acidity of sangiovese serves as the wines backbone and supports it across the palate into the finish where the heft and structure of petit verdot round out and complete the performance.
Maddalena 2016 Zinfandel $18.95
From the Riboli family, this Paso Robles zin is rich and robust with an inky purple hue. Notes of bright raspberry, spice black plum, baking spices, oak, and just a touch of smoke. It has a chewy and velvety mouth feel with a dry finish. Not too sweet. Would be perfect with a steak. 15.1% ABV.
Opolo 2016 Mountain Zinfandel – $29
A decadently jammy and fruit forward wine. Opens with rich aromas of raspberry, rhubarb, Bing cherry with hints of vanilla, cedar and tea leaf. Flavors of dark plum and cherry are married with silky smooth tannins that lead into a long and stratifying finish.
Peachy Canyon 2015 Clevenger Zinfandel – $42
Our holiday zinfandel recommendations would not be complete without a nod to one of Paso Robles’ most-famed zin producers. This bottle delivers classic Willow Creek AVA zinfandel flavors. This wine is flush with floral aromas. On the palate, taste blueberry, rhubarb, and orange zest. It leaves a dry, white peppery finish.
Pomar Junction 2014 Zinfandel Reserve – $65
This estate wine’s intense blueberry and blackberry flavors and supple tannins will pair with holiday meals of rich meats such as rack of lamb, prime rib, and roasted duck with grilled vegetables or a hearty beef stew.
Riverstar Vineyards 2016 Zinfandel – $32
This Zinfandel has a thick and sweet taste right from the start. Hints of Blackberry and chocolate dance on the nose. Very smooth and steady overall sweet taste. Finishes with a prominent vanilla finale.
Rotta 2016 Super Rotta – $60
A dark red blend of zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon. It has aromas of blackberry and cherry laced with spice. Those flavors continue on the palate with rhubarb and fig with lively acidity and creamy tannins that turn to velvet. It will pair well with grilled meats and barbecue.
Victor Hugo 2016 Estate Zinfandel – $24
This wine brings intense aromas of black raspberry, boysenberry, along with a hint of semi-sweet chocolate. Full berry flavors lead the way in this wine followed by elegant tannins. The combination of flavors left a desirable long-lasting flavor on the palette. This wine pairs wonderfully with rich red sauces as well as seafood and chicken.
Vina Robles 2013 Zinfandel – $32
This classic zin shows ruby garnet colors. It has a delicious nose of red fruits and hints of black pepper. It delivers flavors of rich berry fruit and chocolate. It will pair well with pork, lamb and filet mignon.
Vista Del Rey 2016 ‘Bocado Robusto’ Zinfandel – $30
A robust mouthful of dry-farmed zinfandel grapes. It’s a big, spicy wine with dark berry, plum, and cherry flavors. Drink all by itself or pair with grilled meats, pizzas and pastas. Enjoy a glass while decorating for the holidays.
Paso Robles wine recommendations
• Best local sparkling wines for the holidays
• Best local rosé wines for the holidays
• Best local white wines for the holidays
• Best local Spanish-style wines for the holidays
• Best local pinot noir wines for the holidays
• Best local zinfandel and Italian-style wines for the holidays
• Best local cabernet sauvignon and Bordeaux-style wines for the holidays
• Best local Rhone-style red wines for the holidays
• Best local dessert wines for the holidays
Publisher’s note: For the fifth year in a row we thought it would be a great idea to recommend local wines for upcoming holiday parties and dinners. Once again, we received an amazing amount of participation from our local wineries. Over the last few weeks, we received more than 100 entries. After tasting and tasting and tasting, there were many solid, well-made wines to recommend. We have created several lists of top local wines into categories. The recommended wines above are in alphabetical order.