2014 Artezin "Old Vine" Mendocino County Zinfandel

SKU #1291009 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* 'Wow' is the first word that comes to mind when tasting this superconcentrated and immensely fruity wine. It practically overwhelms the nose and the palate with ripe, jammy boysenberry and blackberry, sprinkled with licorice and black-pepper nuances that add attractive complexity. It's a big wine all the way, but not extreme in alcohol. (JG)  (3/2017)

91 points Vinous

 One of the more striking wines in this range, the 2014 Zinfandel Old Vine is absolutely gorgeous. Dark cherry, plum, sweet tobacco, menthol, licorice and spices hit the palate as this flamboyant, juicy Zinfandel shows off its personality. This is one of the best wines I have tasted from winemaker Randle Johnson. Best of all, the Old Vine is a superb value. (AG)  (2/2016)

Connoisseurs Guide

 This wine may lack the vineyard pedigree of its fancy sibling below, but it more than makes up for that modest shortcoming by delivering mid-volume, nicely articulated berryish fruit with brambly and dried flower stem adjuncts. Veering to the supple, slightly round side in texture with just enough of a tannic bite for grip, this direct, no-nonsense Zinfandel sits near the very top of the priceworthy list in this Issue.  (1/2017)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A blend of 70% Zinfandel and the rest Petite Sirah, the 2014 Zinfandel from Mendocino has a deep color, loads of raspberry and blueberry fruit, a spicy earthiness to it, and a medium-bodied, zesty finish. This should be drunk over the near-term. (RP)  (12/2015)

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Price: $12.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/15/2017 | Send Email
Since 2002 the folks who run Hess Family Estates have sneakily released one of the best affordable Mendocino County Zinfandels on the market: Artezin. From a selection of old vines from a few selected vineyards every year, this Zin has always delivered the fruit and lift so commonly found in Mendocino Zinfandel. The 2014 vintage of this wine maybe the best I’ve ever seen, with dark briary berry notes, whole peppercorn spice and a subtle and lengthy finish. Aged all in French oak, this has so much complexity and drive that it is really hard to believe that the winery is making any money here at the ridiculous price point of $12.99.

Staff Image By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/28/2017 | Send Email
Old Vine Mendo Zin? Count me in, especially at less than fifteen bucks. These are spicy and forward, boasting notes of white pepper, dark fruit preserve, cocoa and a touch of grip on the back end. Very complex wine for the money.

Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/28/2017 | Send Email
Mendocino Valley Old Vine Zinfandel from the Hess winemakers at $13?! Sign us up! Full of lush and jammy blackberry and blueberry fruits, cracked black pepper, slight tanin, and enough acid to keep it from being over the top, this wine is a no brainer for zin fans.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Anthony Gittings | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/27/2017 | Send Email
This might be one of the best Zinfandel's we have for under $15. Ample amounts of plum and fig fill this full bodied red. Hints of cedar, blackberries, and licorice round it out, while the juicy acid makes it bright and vibrant.

Staff Image By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/21/2017 | Send Email
This Zinfandel has a good amount of complexity for being only $12.99! Made from vines that are 40+ years old, this juicy wine is loaded with brambly red and black fruits, cedar, vanilla, sweet tobacco and black pepper. Load up on this wine for you and your Zin loving friends!

Additional Information:



- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Anderson Valley/Mendocino

- Cooled by the nearby ocean and the seemingly omnipresent bank of oceanic fog, this picturesque wine region is home to a wealth of cool-climate grapes like riesling and gewürztraminer plus chardonnay and pinor noir, which are responsible for impressive and intense sparkling wines.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5