Franc Dusak,, Sonoma Valley, Wine, Zinfandel

Review: Franc Dusak Zinfandel Sonoma Valley 2013


I love Zinfandel. This may be in part because my red wine journey started in earnest with Zinfandel. Also, living minutes from the Sierra Foothills, famous for its Old Vine Zinfandel, I have access to some of the best Zin on the planet. I admit a Sierra Foothill bias, but I enjoy exploring other regions and have found a few that continue to impress me with outstanding Zinfandel. Among these are Dry Creek Valley, in Sonoma County, and the greater Sonoma County region in general. This is where today’s wine is from.

Zinfandel is a versatile grape that can present in a variety of different ways, from jammy fruit bombs; to big, bold, and spicy; to light and floral. I think a lot of people who say they don’t like Zinfandel have only been exposed to the former – those jammy, “please pass the peanut butter” fruit bombs. These tend to fall in the lower end of the price spectrum, which is where I have found most people start when exploring new varietals. Generally speaking, fruit bomb Zin comes from warmer climates, like Lodi in California’s Central Valley. Fruit bombs have their place, and many people prefer them. However, my personal preference is big, bold, and spicy Zinfandel. These are most common from slightly cooler regions like the Sierra Foothills and Sonoma County.

Having such a fondness for Zinfandel, imagine my excitement when Franc Dusak’s Zinfandel Sonoma Valley 2013 appeared for sale on the website! I’ve had other Franc Dusak wines before, and been blown away by all of them, but this is his first Zinfandel for This wine spent 23 months in the barrel, which will give it a soft, smooth texture along with the delicious flavors. I ordered some the first day it was available.

Franc Dusak has been making wine for more than a decade, but his name has always been behind the scenes. About a year ago, got ahold of him, and propelled him to instant stardom! (In my book, at least!) But enough with the lead-in…on to the review!

I’m a Zin freak. Over the years, I’ve had more Zin than any other varietal. Franc, your 2013 Sonoma Valley Zinfandel is dee-licious!

Deep purple with brick rim. Aromas of blueberries and blackberries, along with the promise of oak and spice. On the palate, blackberry, black pepper, black cherry, and promise kept: smooth oak and a spicy finish. Exceptionally balanced fruit and spice ratio; medium body. The tannins are velvety smooth and balanced with soft acidity. Those 23 months in oak really paid off! I’m glad I bought more than one!!

4.5 out of 5 hearts (92-94 points)

Available only from Angel Price: $13.99

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If this sounds like your kind of Zinfandel, and you aren’t yet a Angel, click the Naked Wines logo above, or here for a voucher worth $100 off a first-time order of $160 or more. You won’t be sorry you did!


8 thoughts on “Review: Franc Dusak Zinfandel Sonoma Valley 2013”

  1. Love Zinfandel! It’s incredibly versatile and full of personality. Thanks for the tip on Nakedwines & Mr. Dusak. We have a Frog’s Leap Zin waiting patiently for our anniversary or I should say we’re trying to wait patiently for it. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I am not a big Zin fan. It is a mental issue as I still have nightmares about Sutterhome White Zinfandel harkening back to the 1970s. That said Franc’s is a really bright spot and right behind Jessica Tomei’s annual offering on my hit parade..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, yes. White Zinfandel. I got my start in wine with White Zin, as did a lot of people. It was like a gateway drug, but with a good result! Personally, I don’t find any similarity between White Zin and a well-made Zinfandel, other than the grape both are made from, but I completely understand the hesitancy.


      3. Oh, I understand that it is all mental. I know this because I love it blended with Cab and Merlot. Some trauma in life is just not meant to go away, you just move past it. (-:)0

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Robert, you make me smile. I have a mental phobia against Merlot, based on the description given the first time I heard of the wine. NW is making (encouraging) me to work through that phobia, and I must admit, it’s gaining ground!

    I’m delighted to read your review of Franc’s Zin – and comparing it to my notes, as I’m about to review it. You are so much more knowledgeable than I it’s heartening to see that we’re finding much of the same characteristics!

    Liked by 1 person

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