The Plungerhead Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel 2018 is 84% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah, 2% Mourvèdre, 2% Tempranillo, and 1% Merlot. Most of the Zinfandel was sourced from 3 vineyards in the Mokelumne River Basin of Lodi, the Grand Vin Lands Vineyard, the Mettler Family Vineyard, and the Manna Vineyard. The Petite Sirah came from the Mettler Family Vineyard, along with some of the Merlot and Tempranillo. Some of the Merlot and Tempranillo came from the Clarksburg AVA. 88% of the grapes are from Lodi and 12% are from Clarksburg.
This is a brand from Don Sebastiani and Sons, a company that started in Sonoma in 1904. They specialize in single vineyard and sub-AVA wines and are now negociants as well as a vineyard and winery. Plungerhead is part of the negociant portfolio.
You may notice that the Plungerhead Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel 2018 has changed its label. The old label had a man with a toilet plunger on his head and wine barrels for his legs. It may have been an odd marketing choice but it did establish the brand. The new label is a woman with hair longer than she is tall diving into a stylized ocean. The new tagline is “take the plunge”.
A negociant wine should be less expensive than its sourcing. A negotiant buys surplus wine or grapes that typically go to more expensive wines. With the Plungerhead Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel 2018, we know the vineyards used, but they do not explain which wineries use these grapes for their wine.
If a Zinfandel is 100% that is fine, but adding additional grapes to any single varietal wine can bring wine to the next level. Petite Sirah is typically blended with Zinfandel the 2 grapes complement each other, but the Merlot, Tempranillo, and Mourvedre are specifically chosen by the winemaker.
The Plungerhead Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel 2018 is aged with oak, 80% American, 10% French, and 10% Hungarian. The French and the Hungarian oak are the same species and are similar. The American oak is a separate species and has a wider grain. The alcohol content is a hefty 15.5%.
The Plungerhead Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel 2018 Tasting Notes
The color is raspberry jam red with black highlights. The nose is ripe and juicy, with red berries, chocolate brownies, blackberry, a little hint of herbs, spice, and Dr. Pepper. The Plungerhead Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel 2018 is silky smooth on the palate with rich flavor and rougher spice.
This Zinfandel tastes like sour cherry, blackberry, licorice, a sharp slap of spice, blueberry, and bitter dark chocolate. The mid-palate shows softer spice, vanilla, raisin, and cranberry. The tannins are sweet and the acidity is balanced.
- The Plungerhead Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel 2018 no longer features a man with a toilet plunger on his head, but it is still a very appealing Zinfandel.
- This is a solid full-bodied Zinfandel that is full of flavor and interesting textures.