Maker: Rancho Zabaco Winery, Healdsburg, California
Packaging: Bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
When we picked up a bottle of Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2005, we noticed some subtle changes. Since we last tried Rancho Zabaco Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2004, it seems the winery is shifting its brand emphasis. The “Rancho Zabaco” name is gone from the label, and even the website has shifted – it’s now dancingbullwines.com. Even the wine seems to have changed. The spicy, earthy aroma is still there, but this Zin was dominated by juicy raspberry and cherry notes, with mild spice and soft tannins. The 2005 is much fruitier than the 2004. Breathing toned down the fruit a bit, and added a bit more balance. Overall, this is a very approachable and drinkable wine, though it isn’t the kind of big, complex Zinfandel that lovers of that varietal might prefer.
The new Dancing Bull website is notable for its main feature, The Guy’s Guide to Wine. This is a Flash “booklet” that covers a variety of wine topics, ranging from food pairings to how to store wine. The site, unfortunately, lacks much information about the winery. The Vinicode blog tasted Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2005, and two out of the three tasters like it: “As for the taste, I liked what I believed to be a nice earthy quality. But the aftertaste did have a kool-aid kind of quality to it.” The third didn’t like it at all. Most of the other blog comments we found seemed to be for earlier years. If your tastes lean toward the fruity/juicy, try this Zin and see whom YOU agree with.