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Barnard Griffin Zinfandel 2005 Hells Gate Canyon Vineyard

Yes Virginia, there is Zinfandel in Washington.
Washington is not known for producing Zinfandel wine. Zinfandel is a difficult varietal to cultivate in Washington - it requires more time on the vine and a slightly cooler climate to mature properly (SE Washington is just too hot for Zin). Fortunately, there is at least one grower cultivating the grape with great success in Washington. Dan Gunkel is a grower in the Columbia River Gorge valley. The Columbia River Gorge is in South Central Washington, bordering the Columbia River and it is the sweet spot in the state for Zinfandel. Dan Gunkel and his family produce some of the finest fruit available - and he's a nice guy too.

Rob Griffin and Dan Gunkel have an amiable relationship - the fruit of this friendship includes Rob Griffins award winning Zinfandel wine. I had the pleasure of enjoying a bottle of Barnard Griffin Zinfandel 2005 vintage this weekend.

The first thing I noticed about this wine was the bright, clear garnet color. After letting the wine open, swirling it in the glass released aromas of cherry and sandalwood. In the mouth I was greeted by luscious cherry and vanilla flavors, followed by a delightfully smooth, lengthy coffee finish. That was good, very, very good. This wine pleased and satisfied and never disappointed. Medium tannins allowed this wine to hold up to steak dinner. Loved that coffee finish, it complemented dinner perfectly.

The Barnard Griffin Zinfandel 2005 is a very fine wine. I was able to locate a few bottles in the area at two local grocers - you can also find this wine listed on the Barnard Griffin online wine shop (check with the winery to verify it is the 2005 vintage as 2006 should be the current vintage).

If you are looking for an extremely enjoyable wine, this is one to consider. Highly recommended! I loved this wine.



  1. I just found this 2005 Zin at the local grocer for $18.99. If you live in SE Washington, then this is your chance to get a bottle. i found it in South Richland at the grocer on the corner of Gage and Leslie.



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