We always keep a couple of bottles of Zinfandel in the cellar for when we have barbecue (BBQ). They're made for each other ... Neophyte wine drinkers should also venture into Zinfandel as it provides fruit forward, easy, casual sipping and goes well with pizza, pasta, fruits, salads and grilled meats. For the more discriminating Oenophile (a lover or connoisseur of wine), Zinfandel can also offer complex sophisticated drinking as well. And Zinfandels generally provide great QPR - quality to price ratios.
We visited Lamborn Vineyards high atop Howell Mountain during our Napa Wine Experience in 2008. Mike (w/ Mike left) and Terry Lamborn are wonderful folks whose vineyards are a labor of love, and site for whimsical and fun scuplture artwork too. They're on the back side of the mountain overlooking the Pope Valley, right down the road and across from Outpost and Robert Craig, both also known for great Cab's and Zins. Howell Mountain terroir provides distinctive concentrated spicy fruit in both varietals and is one of our favorite appellations of the seventeen Napa growing areas.
Lamborn Family Vineyards "The Cork Report" Zinfandel 2001
At fourteen years, this is past it's prime drinking window, but still enjoyable. Dark ruby colored, medium full bodied, black berry and raspberry fruits give way to a layer of vanilla accented by earthy spice, oak, and hints of mocha with a firm but approachable tannin acid finish.
RM 88 points.