Friday, September 27, 2019

Castoro Cellars 2015 Zinfandel, Paso Robles

Castoro Cellars 2015 ZinfandelThis California winery takes its earth-friendly commitment to the next level.

Castoro In California

Paso Robles, the fastest-growing wine region in California, is known for Rhone-style blends and big, bombastic reds. So I was intrigued when we received this bottle of 2015 Estate Zinfandel from Castoro Cellars. It would be my first taste of a Zin from Paso.

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Zinfandel styles can range all over the map. There are jammy fruit bombs, often with catchy names playing on “Zin” and on the other end you have sublime Old Vines Zinfandels with nuanced and delicate flavors. Where would Castoro weigh in?

I liked Castoro even before opening the bottle. The winery was established in 1983 by Niels and Bim­mer Udsen. It has more than 1,400 acres of estate vineyards which are certified organic and also SIP certified (which evaluates a vineyard’s sustainability practices). In fact, Castoro is Paso Robles’ first 100% certified sustainable vineyards and winery

The sustainability commitment includes solar power. The winery has 42 solar panels at their Cobble Creek vineyard and even more on the roof of their events room. The coolest aspect of their environmental program is the Sun Powered Summer Concert Series. The con­certs are run com­plete­ly on solar pow­er pro­vid­ed by a mobile solar gen­er­a­tor.

Tale of The Glass

As strongly as we support care for the environment, the wine still must be good. We poured the Castoro and our glasses were filled with a deep midnight purple.

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The wine is 77% Zinfandel, 19% Petite Sirah and 4% Barbera. Petite Sirah adds an inky depth to the wine color. The addition of Barbera makes this an uncommon blend, adding an Italian grape to a mix of Bordeaux and what is thought of as the “most American” grape – although Italy’s Primitivo and Zinfandel are in reality the same.

Only 400 cases of this Zin were produced, a very small production run. The taste, however, is quite big. At 14.5% ABV, it is on par with the alcohol content of some very big Napa Cabs.

In order to allow the wine to settle down, we decanted it. There is plenty of fruit in the glass with jammy flavors of black cherry and earthiness. Although a big wine, it is smooth and the tannins provide support in the background.

At $16 to $20, this is a Zinfandel to savor. You can rest easy knowing your sip is SIP certified.

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