2008 Beringer – Founder’s Estate Old Vine Zinfandel

First time

Well here it is. The first time that Vino in Love has tasting notes for an American wine for you. The wine is nothing special. It took me some time to find an American “starter” wine that was affordable. I heard lots of good things about Beringer so I decided to go with them. The 2008 Beringer Founder’s Estate Old Vine Zinfandel seemed to be the perfect opportunity. It retails for 13€ over here. Right away I can tell you that I will not buy this wine again. At least not in the near future. Continue reading to find out why. There is very little information on this wine, which I find kind of strange. Not even Beringer’s website lists any wines of the Founder’s Estate brand.

2008 Beringer - Founder's Estate Old Vine ZinfandelAccording to the definition of American Viticulture Area 85% of the grapes should be coming from that vintage if the bottle label specifies a vintage. So I assume that the wine is produced with at least 85% Zinfandel, rest unknown.

Founder’s Estate Old Vine Zinfandel tasting notes

There was a heavy aroma of mint and a little bit of blueberry. I tried to find more but I am afraid there was nothing else besides a little bit of alcohol smell. Talking about alcohol, the label listed ABV was 13.5%.

On the palate, the wine was dry with some acidity. Medium-bodied at most. After taking another sip, I noticed that alcohol became the dominant note. Furthermore I tasted a few dark fruits. There were a few tannins, too but they did not add much to the wine. The finish was somewhere between medium and long. A long finish sounds nice but if you mostly taste alcohol then it is not. In general, ‘flat’ might describe the wine best.

1 / 5 stars      

That said, I hope that my second Californian wine will be much better. I have a 2006 Teldeschi Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley in my cellar.

North American wine in Europe

The selection of American wines could be better here in Germany. I do not think that the selection will increase in the next years, though. There is simply no high demand for American wines, which can be explained by high-import costs and the fact that Europe is home to many leading wine producing countries that satisfy the growing demand of wine. I personally would appreciate a larger selection of American wine though. US wineries would need to do some marketing though to attract more customers.

If I look back at the ForumVini, a large international wine fair in Munich, then I remember next to European wineries, lots of South American, Australian and South African ones but (almost) no North American ones. I had to order the Teldeschi Zinfandel, which I have in my cellar, in Italy because it was not available at a reasonable price in Germany.

Europe is a large wine market so it would only make sense for US wineries to “conquer” a portion of this market. Time will show if they will do it.

14 comments on “2008 Beringer – Founder’s Estate Old Vine Zinfandel”

  1. talkavino Reply

    Sorry for a bad start… Zinfandel is hit and miss in general, especially at low cost, it is almost impossible to find (I mean the one which you will enjoy). Almost feel like we need to arrange a humanitarian wine aid for you from all of your US readers : )
    If you can get a list of what is available in your stores for US wines, will be glad to recommend something worth trying. You can publish it as a blog post and I’m sure you will get a lot of advice : )

    • vino in love Reply

      Thanks for commenting.
      I think that is an excellent idea so I will plan to make a list in the next one or two weeks. You guys have much more experience with American wine so I would appreciate your advice.

  2. hannah-theis hannah-theis Reply

    The good thing about living in Canada is that you find great American wines as well as great European wines quite easily.
    If you need recommendations for US wine then let me know and I’ll try to help : -)

    • vino in love Reply

      You are for sure right that it is easier to find American wine in Canada than it is in Europe.
      I will make a list with American wines in the next week. Thanks for offering your input.

  3. Suzanne Reply

    I agree with your review. I have never bought this wine but have tasted it and don’t care for it, There are many great American wines this is not one of them.

    • vino in love Reply

      Thanks for commenting. I hope my next American wine will taste better. Maybe I’m just “spoiled” with all these good Italian wines here πŸ™‚

  4. the drunken cyclist Reply

    In a way, i echo Anatoli’s comments–Zin is a tough one since there is a lot of crap out there. On the other hand, you live in Europe! What is the need to try American wine? the Europeans have it down for the most part and we Yanks are just trying to catch up!

    • vino in love Reply

      You got it absolutely right, Jeff. There is no need for American wines in Europe since we produce so many fantastic wines throughout the continent. Nevertheless, it would be nice to see how the American wine industry is doing. Therefore I would appreciate a slightly larger selection of American wines but like I said in the review, I don’t think this will happen anytime soon.

  5. Virginia Reply

    Try Bogle or Ravenswood for the Old Vine Zins. Lodi valley is a good location as well. These are some of the few “domestic” wines I buy as a lot of American wines have too much sulfites in them and it makes me sneeze and weeze. So I usually stick with imports.

    • vino in love Reply

      I have a Teldeschi Ravenswood single estate Zinfandel in my cellar. I heard that wine is much better so I am looking forward to try it.
      Thanks for your recommendations πŸ™‚

      • drinkforlife Reply

        I hope your Teldeschi will be much better than that Beringer flop πŸ™‚
        There is a little bit of good American wine out there – it’s not much but it exists. Teldeschi Ravenswood Zinfandel is fantastic.

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