Ledson Winery – Zinfandel Howell Mountain – 2012

No, young Padawan, try again. Trust your nose when describing the wine profile.

I’ve always wondered how effective advertisements of wineries within Napa and Sonoma Valleys were – when you see a brochure with a “gothic” castle of your establishment it is bound to catch your attention.  We were certainly intrigued to visit Ledson winery and see this structure for ourselves.  There were several things that crossed our minds as we saw the building for the first time:

  • It’s an unbelievably cool looking building
  • Does the gothic look of the building somehow overshadow the wines they are producing
  • It must be some sort of exclusive winery with arrogant members and “snobbish” wine stewards

When we stepped foot within Ledson winery we were still in awe of the building, the architecture and the layout of the facility made it difficult for us to leave.  We felt transported to another world, an ancient world – it was like drinking wine within a castle from the legendary  regions of France – Bordeaux or Rhone.  Then we drank the wine.  While we don’t remember the specifics of the tasting we did, we ended up getting 6 bottles shipped back home.  The building paralleled the quality of the wine.  After about 2 hours of wine tasting we decided we should let other people tasting enjoy the knowledge that was being provided by the wine stewards.  This was one of our first visits to Sonoma but the knowledge provided to us at Ledson winery ensured that we would return and continue to drink their wine.

Visual: The color was medium in depth and produced a lovely ruby, almost garnet color.  The clarity was overall clear and was seemed translucent in appearance.  The wine did appear to have aged with a brownish hue around the meniscus when viewing it against the white background.  The legs of the wine suggested that it was of moderate alcohol content as it seemed to crawl its way back to the body of the wine.

Nose: This wine was loaded with aromas – we classified the intensity as aromatic nearing powerful, but not overpowering.  We noted some age to the wine on the nose as well.  The aromas were abundant and immediately provided spicy notes with hints of tobacco and smoky qualities.  At the same time there appeared to be a predominance of red fruit, particularly cherry.  Finally, it was rounded out by some hints of mineral notes.

Taste: The wine was off-dry to dry, with a medium-full body.  The acidity of the wine was quite smooth and was perfectly balanced with the tannins that were present within the wine.  We thought the tannins were at a level of medium and were soft to round in type.  The wine was overall quite flavorful.  Tasting the wine elicited red fruit – cherries particularly.  We also got a tobacco, smoky sensation when drinking the wine.  The wine appeared more earthy on the palate than on the nose; however, we did note mineral notes on the nose.  There was an unidentified characteristic to the wine that even after consulting our references we couldn’t identify.  Guess we will have to keep trying it until its discovered.

Our Overall Impression

  • We felt that the wine was balanced quite well – the acid to tannin ratio was extremely desirable
  • The wine was paired wonderfully well with spaghetti but could equally go well with barbeque or ribs
  • The wine was complex but didn’t require food to be enjoyed

Ledson Winery - Zinfandel Howell Mountain - 2012Price: $60 (average price)

Vivino Rating: 4.2 out of 5

Our Rating:  94-95 out of 100

Tasting Date: 11/15/17

What we paired it with: Spaghetti

Wine Name – Ledson Zinfandel

Producer – Ledson Winery

Region/appellation – Howell Mountain

Grape Varieties – Zinfandel

Vintage – 2012

Alcohol – 14.5%

Barrel – unknown


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  1. Love this post, your Frenchy is gorgeous. My partner and I love wine so we will definitely keep this blog on our radar. If you haven’t already check out wine folly

    1. Hi Jordan –
      Thanks so much – he pretty much owns us (we cater to his every request – he has the perfect life). We are working to establish an email list for those interested in up to date blogs or educational pieces that we publish. We would love to include you once we get there – stay tuned!!
      We love wine folly – their books and educational items have helped provide information that has been posted to this website.
      Glad you enjoyed the Ledson Zinfandel post!
      Best – adam

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