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Old Vines + New Wave = Sandlands' Outstanding, Super Fresh Zinfandel

Stylized image of Sandlands Zinfandel


The 2021 Zinfandel (Lodi), from Kirschenmann, races out of the glass with intense red fruit and floral Zinfandel character. Complex and layered, the 2021 seems to have an extra dimension of nuance compared to previous releases. As always, the aromatics are especially forward here. The 2021 is a wine of pure and total charm.

—Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Does a fresh-styled, old-vine Zinfandel — from 100+ year old vines, and made by one of the true icons of the California new wave — sound as good to you as it does to us?

We love the wines that Tegan Passalacqua has been making at Sandlands. They're exactly the kind of energetic, detailed California goodness we’ve been featuring since we opened our doors in 2012. The only problem is that quantities are typically way too tiny to offer them in this newsletter. Through some miracle, though, we’ve found a sizable parcel of his stunning 2021 Lodi Zinfandel, and we are so excited to share it with you.

Tegan is an icon of California's New Wave. For more than 20 years now, he has been spreading the gospel of own-rooted (ungrafted), dry-farmed, organic California terroir. He first came to fame making powerful, culty wines at Turley, but it’s really his work at his own domaine, Sandlands, that cemented his status as one of the most important and in-demand winemakers in the US.

A vineyard whisperer, Tegan searches the California countryside for neglected old sites and gives them the love and attention that they deserve. The 2021 Lodi Zinfandel comes from the Kirschenmann vineyard in off-the-beaten path Lodi. It was planted almost exclusively to Zinfandel in 1915 on silica-rich sandy soils.

From this ancient site, Tegan captures a deliciously high-toned Zinfandel with remarkable poise. It’s the perfect balance between earthy, ripe, sun-kissed fruit with a crunchy, lifted energy that makes this almost too easy to drink. For us, it’s the perfect example of what old vines can do.

Sandlands, Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel, 2021 $46.99


This story was originally featured in our newsletter, where it was offered at a special subscribers-only discount. Subscribers get special offers, the first look at new discoveries, invites to events, and stories about wines and the artisans that make them.