Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.



Easton logo



This wine is a perennial best buy for a top notch Zinfandel for well under $20.  If you do some digging or have a decent local wine store, you should be able to find this one for a touch over $15.  The Easton Amador County Zin is usually not a wine that pushes the ripeness to the limit.  This is generally a balanced, food friendly Zinfandel that would be a welcome addition to your week night dinner.



The Winery

Easton is the “sister” winery to Terre Rouge.  The Terre Rouge label is used for wines made from Rhone grapes including Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne.  Easton, named after the winemaker Bill Easton, on all wines from non-Rhone grapes.


More information on the wineries is available by clicking here.


Terre Rouge and Easton are located on the West Slope of the Sierra Nevada in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley.


The winery farms all their vineyards sustainably and most of the needed power used comes from solar power generated by solar panels on the roof of the main winery building.


Much more information on the winery’s “Green” efforts is available by clicking here.


Bill Easton is active on Twitter, follow @rhonist.  The winey is also on Facebook





2012 Easton Zinfandel – $15.29

The grapes for this wine come from the winery’s Amador County vineyards.  These vineyards are planted on rolling mountain sites comprised of decomposed granite soil.


The winery rightfully calls this wine a “serious cru Beaujolais-styled/Rioja crianza-styled Zinfandel.”  After fermentation, the wine is aged in 100% French oak for 10 months.


This has 14.5% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby color.  The appealing nose has cherries, crushed stones, blackberries, white pepper, dried herbs, dried wildflowers and a touch of cedar.  This has a medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries and minerals jump out first with white pepper and dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with some spicy, cedary oak coming in.  Not a lot of complexity has developed yet, but has outstanding balance.  This is a food friendly zin that will be easy to enjoy over the next few years.  (89 pts)

2012 Easton Zinfandel

2012 Easton Zinfandel




Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.


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This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.