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Amador's Easton Wines makes Wine Spectator's '100 Outstanding Value Wines of 2013'

Published: Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 - 1:32 pm

Wednesday’s “Wine Buzz” offered a rundown of Black Friday events in Amador County, including a tasting of the Easton 2011 Zinfandel Amador County at Terre Rouge/Easton (10801 Dickson Road, Plymouth).

That particular bottle of zinfandel would now make an especially choice gift for the wine lover on your holiday shopping list.

Wine Spectator magazine included that $18 bottle of Easton 2011 Zinfandel Amador County in its year-end list of “100 Outstanding Values.” Keep in mind that only two wines in all of California made this list, with the other being Enotria 2009 Dolcetto Mendocino ($18).

This inclusion marks the second straight year an Easton Zinfandel Amador County has scored a spot on Wine Spectator’s “100 Outstanding Values.” The 2012 version of this list also included a trio of $10 wines from Bogle (merlot, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), giving that year an especially strong showing from the greater Sacramento in this much read year-end list.

Bill Easton (picture above) bottles four to five different zinfandels annually, including a Shenandoah Valley Estate and Fiddletown Eschen-Rinaldi, in which the grapes are sourced from vines that date back to 1865. Easton’s Zinfandel Amador County ranks as the winery’s largest production run, with just under 10,000 cases produced for the 2011 vintage.

Easton also bottles some of the Sierra Foothills’ best Rhone styled wines under his Terre Rouge label.

The Shenandoah Valley Estate zinfandel has received accolades on its own. A bottle of that wine from the 2010 vintage was among three wines pictured on the cover of Wine Enthusiast magazine’s September issue, with the headline declaring, “California zinfandel makes a comeback.”

No matter which brand of zinfandel he’s botting, Easton aims to express a more moderate and food-friendly version of a grape that’s too often connoted with high-alcohol cocktail style wines. The 2011 Zinfandel Amador County is noted for its blackberry and dark fruit flavors, smooth tannins and spicy overtones.

“Zinfandel’s become really weird in the last 15 years, but the pendulum’s swinging back to our style,” said Easton. “It’s a more classic style without excessive alcohol, no residual sugar and the oak doesn’t clobber you over the head.”

Given all the positive press for Easton’s zinfandels, especially the Wine Spectator nod, better score some soon. Tasting room hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Fridays through Mondays.

For more information: (209) 245-4277,

Read more articles by Chris Macias

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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