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Wine Review: 2013 The Independent Zinfandel


Let's face it. When it comes to zins these days, they're a dime a dozen. Sometimes the thought of drinking a zin simply makes me yawn. That preconception of zinfandels ended this evening with the introduction of the 2013 The Independent Zinfandel. This was one of my selections from my initial shipment from the Club W wine club and, so far, I have been quite wowed by their recommendations.

Zins tend, at least for me, take on a range from thick and syrupy—the proverbial "meal in a glass"—to the unmentionable bridge between a mediocre pinot noir and syrrah. The 2013 The Independent is the unexpected breath of boozy fresh air I have been searching for. I even tested it out tonight on two beer-drinking, car-fixing, South Austin good ol' boys tonight and they were amazed by the taste and texture. I always say, if you can get a die-hard beer guy to say "yes" to wine, you're onto something.

So what is it about this particular zin that makes it so darn special? To begin with, it's the perfect balance between a deep luscious wine and one that is simply too easy to drink that it's forgetable. With a good wine, you want to savor it, remember, contemplate it. Not simply guzzle it like a can Bud Light on a hot summer day. The Independent is like a gorgeously ripe piece of fruit that has been muddled by an award-winning mixologist, folded in upon itself, and laid out so that it drapes over your tongue like a soft swath of velvet. Yet, it is light enough for an evening of casual conversation amongst friends.

Each Club W shipment comes with informational cards for each of the wines you have purchased. Club W's assessment of the 2013 The Independent Zinfandel is notes of "raspberry, rhubarb, dates, apple chutney, and brown sugar". I still have quite a bit to learn as far as training my tongue to taste notes such as "rhubarb" (of course it would probably help if I knew what rhubarb itself tasted like), but I do have my own critique to offer.

In this particular wine I do taste the raspberry and apple chutney, which is absolutely delightful. If you have never had chutney, it is an explosion of spices and preserved fruit that accompanies pork or duck profoundly perfectly. Brown sugar, yes. Dates... Not so much. However, the other notes I can sense are plum, blueberry, honeysuckle, and a very pleasant afternote as if I just inhaled the fragrance of baking cinnamon rolls. However, this should not deter you if you are not a fan of sweet wines. The notes are sweet, but this is a most palatable wine, across the board.

I can most definitely say that the 2013 The Independent Zinfandel is now one, if now my absolute favorite zinfandel leading into spring.

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Look for my next Wine Review of the 2012 #TBT Pinot Noir next week here on

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