2013 Outpost Howell Mountain Zinfandel

SKU #1221576 92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Zinfandel is a winner. Beautiful notes of black raspberries, blackberries, pepper, roasted meats, herbs and spice are followed by a full-bodied, opulent wine that will spend 16 months in one-third new and two-thirds used French oak. Drink now-2020. This is a fabulous source of terrific wines from owners Kathy and Frank Dotzler and their multi-talented winemaker, Thomas Rivers Brown. Not only are the wines outstanding, but their pricing policy is among the less ego-driven in Napa Valley. That is to be applauded. The 2012s are sexy, outrageously fruity, gorgeous wines that are as sensual as you could want. For me, the two finest Grenaches being made in California come from Alban’s Edna Valley Vineyard, and Manfred and Elaine Krankl’s Sine Qua Non further south. However, I must say the Outpost Grenache from Howell Mountain (from the Alban Clone which reportedly was suitcased from cuttings at Châteauneuf du Pape’s Château Rayas) is spectacular. (RP)  (10/2014)

91-93 points Vinous

 The 2013 Zinfandel is shaping up to be superb. Dark and explosive, the 2013 also has a level of textural elegance that is missing from the 2012. Herbs, blackberry jam, mint and sweet spices are some of many notes that flow through to the striking finish. The 2013 brings together power and finesse to a degree that is seldom found in Zinfandel. Proprietors Frank and Kathy Dotzler, along with their winemaker, Thomas Rivers Brown, have turned out superb wines in both 2012 and 2013. Because of its location on Howell Mountain, Outpost often plays to its own beat rather than following the trends of vintages in other parts of the valley. The 2012s are perhaps a bit stronger than the 2013s, although it is still quite early for both vintages. All that said, I was once again taken by both the Grenache and Petite Sirah, two wines that are often overlooked in a range that focuses on Bordeaux grapes. Any way you look at it, Outpost is making compelling wines that remain largely undiscovered and therefore still represent good value within the context of Napa Valley. (AG)  (10/2014)

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Price: $49.99
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- 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.
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Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 15.3