Gary Danko and the 2010 Zin Bargain of the Year
2009 Vintage Member Reviews:
I'm in the process of re-ordering. This has good balance, good fruit and a clarity of taste that is one of the tops in my zin list. Goes well with any meal and has a good vibrancy.
-- David from Los Angeles, CA
Amazing wine at great value
I have purchased wine here many times and have always found my expectations were high and the wine exceeded them. This case was one of my very favorites!
-- Marcia from Ponte Vedre Beach, FL
I was impressed with the 2008 and the 2009 is just as good. It is one of the tastiest, smoothest zins that I have drunk in the 50+ years that I have been doing so!
-- Duncan from Blacksburg, VA
Wow, what a spectacular wine at an unbelievable price. The fruit explodes upon opening and has a soft touch to it. Wonderful.
-- Herman from Norfolk, VA
I see why this was chosen as the Zin by glass at Gary Danko. You drink so many bad zins that punch you in the face with alcohol you forget how good they can be. This one is great.
-- Greg from Arvada, CO
They're the toughest Bay Area placements to come by. It's one thing to land a sales call at Gary Danko, Boulevard and Fleur de Lys. Still another to convince the keepers of the city's hottest wine lists to add your bottle. But rarely does a bargain Zinfandel -- albeit one drawn from one of the most historic vineyards in Sonoma County -- win over the likes of Christie Dufault, Mickey Clevenger and Rob Perkins, gaining wine-by-the-glass features at Gary Danko, Fleur de Lys and Boulevard!
"I was pretty excited when I got that first appointment," Dan Donahoe told us as he poured three Riedel glasses of the dense, lusciously rich, startlingly vibrant 2010 Teira Zinfandel. "I was new to all this. The closer I got to the date, the more I had the jitters. I played out the sales call, figuring I'd spend the first 15 minutes talking about Woods Estate and the old-vine Zinfandel that's come off the ranch for decades. Only then would I pull out the bottle, cool to the touch at 58 degrees. I had it all rehearsed, but once I took the seat on the barstool, I couldn't find my words. So I just popped the cork and cut to the chase."
Dufault, one of the most respected sommeliers on the coast, and the most careful of tasters, took one look at the deep color, took a whiff of the bright red fruit mixed with dried roses, and tasted the fresh raspberry single-vineyard core. Then she knocked Dan Donahoe right off his barstool with a major order that would give Teira Zinfandel top billing at Gary Danko.
If you're going to San Francisco for a conference and you want to know where to eat, forget Zagat. Don't bother with Yelp or TripAdvisor. It's easier, and far more reliable to simply follow Donahoe's path, as he's placed the darkest, juiciest under-$20 Zinfandel in Sonoma County at every hotspot in town. After Christie Dufault's endorsement, FORTY more restaurants followed suit, including Absinthe, Bix, Boulevard, Postrio, Rubicon and on and on...
In the coolest growing season in decades, albeit one punctuated by a couple of torrid summer heat spikes, the head-trained vines at Woods Estate shrugged off the swelter. Crop load was down close to 30% from the norm, further enhancing maturity, spiking natural sugars. The September harvest was conducted under blue skies. Temperatures were mild. The small berry clusters that made it to Knuttel's crusher were some of the most concentrated ever to come off this storied block.
The 2009 Teira Zinfandel garnered a whopping 225 4- and 5-star reviews from WineAccess members, the highest number for any under $20 Zinfandel since 2008. How does Zin-master Bill Knuttel's lavish 2010 compare? It doesn't. It blows the 2009 away!
Brilliant purple, with luscious aromas of crushed red and black fruits, tinged with fresh roses. Deep and darkly concentrated on the attack, packed with blackberry bramble, yet wonderfully vibrant -- more high-toned than the 2009. The finish is long, persistent and fresh, avoiding any of the dried out, raisin-y flavors that muddle so many old-vine Zins these days. Serve at 58 degrees by the grill.