1993 was a variable year and a bit of a challenge for growers. It began with a warm spring that ended with rain during the bloom in May, lowering crop size by 20-30% from the start. The summer was moderately cool, with several heat spikes in August and September, forcing growers to harvest in spurts of activity as ripening alternately accelerated and slowed. It was a very good year for early-ripening varietals, white grapes, and Pinot Noir.
It was a good to very good year for the Cabernets and late-ripening grapes, with complexity and moderate depth and power. But, one wonders how much better they could have been if they had enjoyed more even weather conditions. A sound vintage that turned out some excellent wines, but it is mostly outshined by the 1992s and 1994s on either side of it.
Unexpected rain during the bloom period resulted in a small set
Intermittent heat spells
With no vineyards of its own, Rosenblum Cellars' home base is a giant hangar next to the docks in Alameda. Here, winemaker John Kane directs his focus to Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Syrah...but mostly Zinfandel. They like it so much at Rosenblum that they make over 20 varieties. And although these wines come from vineyard sites all over California, the huge range of Zins are reliably rich and extroverted, typically made in a super-ripe, high-alcohol style. Kane took over in 2009 from Kent Rosenblum, the King of Zin.
Bold, assertive red wines often showing jammy fruits and impressively high alcohol
Grilled meats and barbecue
Zinfandel is not the rage it was in the 1980s and early 1990s, as there are now too many wines made from overripe fruit or from young vines, or overwhelmed by excessive use of new barrels. Today's Zinfandel styles range from elegant, taut, and claret-like midweights to superripe and potty behemoths, with off-the-charts alcohol levels, distinctly exotic character, and, frequently, noticeable residual sugar. Classic Zinfandels are normally medium to full in body, with fruit-driven aromas and flavors of fresh berries, black pepper, and spices, sometimes with notes of citrus zest, chocolate, and briary underbrush; they are rarely overwhelmed by oak notes. Many of the best producers continue to work largely with very old vines (some-times with "field blends" that include other grapes such as Petite Sirah and Carignan), which give consistently low crop levels and make wines with atypical creaminess of texture, aromatic complexity, and aging potential.