Cardinal Zin 2005 California Zinfandel

Posted on July 2, 2010

I stumbled across this wine the other day, lost in my many stored wine cases. This is a somewhat iconic wine due to its clever but controversial label. Couple with its quality and price, Bonny Doon Vineyard had a lot of success with this brand before selling it to Gallo along with their Big House label.


Winery - Cardinal Zin Cellars

Location - Santa Cruz, California

Wine - Cardinal Zin 2005 California Zinfandel

Grape Varieties - Zinfandel

Appellation - California

Alcohol - 14.0% v/v

Price -$15 USD

Nose/Aroma - Plums, white pepper, and cedar oak.

Palate/Flavors - Dried cassis and plum, tobacco, and black tea. Med. light body, with a fair bit of bitterness (a biting characteristic I find fairly common in Zinfandel). Not a whole lot of astringency, but a long finish of dates and truffles.

Food Pairing - Mexican pizza with pollo verde, red onion, tomato, avocado. 

Comments - Not overly tannic or alcoholic like many Zinfandels you find these days. Less fruit-driven than expected, but reasonably complex for the price range and age. Very serviceable wine, though not as impressive as some of the earlier vintages I've tasted.