2016 Sobon Estate "Lubenko Vineyard" Fiddletown Zinfandel

SKU #1337179 90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Ripe and a tad softer in texture than its mate above but no less robust in its outgoing, zesty, concentrated character, this wine is perhaps more destined for fans of the style simply because there is very little held back here. Like the ReZerve, it can benefit from cellar aging, but the rewards are likely to be somewhat less clear, and this is the kind of full-blooded wine that we are more likely to consume with post-prandial cheeses and walnuts than with a typically savory Zinfandel dish like grilled sausages or pork chops. *One Star, Good Value*  (1/2018)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 A touch of smoky, spicy oak flavor gives this ripe and berry-soaked wine a nice twist of complexity. It has strawberry and boysenberry aromas, and full, almost jammy, flavors riding on a smooth texture that shows soft tannins. (JG)  (3/2018)

Wine Spectator

 This is loaded with pepper notes, plus accents of dried cherry and licorice. Drink now through 2022. (TF, Web Only-2018)

K&L Notes

Shirley and Leon Sobon originally founded Shenandoah Vineyards in 1977, and with the purchase of another winery in Amador County in 1989, they created Sobon Estate. This stunning multi-faceted wine shows intriguing aromas of spice, cherry, and concentrated fruit that explode in the mouth. The grapes come from the Lubenko Vineyard, which sits at 1900 feet elevation in the Amador County. Planted in 1910, this vineyard produces fruit that is ultra exotic and complex.

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Price: $17.99
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- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Sierra Foothills/El Dorado

- This sweeping inland territory (an AVA on its own right), encompassing El Dorado, Fiddletown, Shenandoah and Amador, has been on the grape-growing map since the Gold Rush. With the exception of high-altitude El Dorado, the vineyards here are sun-baked and hot—in other words, best suited to old-vine zinfandel, petit sirah and Rhône varietals. The cooler climes of El Dorado are ideal for cabernet, chardonnay and merlot.