Tortoise Creek Zinfandel 2015 

 March 20, 2019

By  Jess Walker

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Tortoise Creek "The Chelonian" Zinfandel 2015

Lodi, CA


Cost: $14 (average - 2016 vintage)

Jess - 4.5/5

Rating: 87 (Wine Enthusiast)

Travis - NA

I was on a business trip to San Antonio, TX last week and naturally went in search of a wine bar for dinner on my first evening.  I discovered Zinc Bistro. A charming spot a few blocks off the river in downtown San Antonio.

Wine Down Wednesday Tortoise Creek Zinfandel bottle

The bartenders were extremely knowledgeable and recommended this wine for me to try.  I'm so glad they did! All of the wine and food teh suggested after chatting with me was exactly what I was looking for.  It was a hard decision to try other dining spots the other evenings of my trip!

Winemaker Notes:

“The Chelonian” refers to the genus of tortoises and turtles. Starting with the 2009 vintage Lodi Zinfandel “The Chelonian”, Tortoise Creek Wines has partnered with the Chelonian Research Foundation (CRF) to donate a portion of the annual profits to benefit the conservation of turtles and tortoises. 

~ Tortoise Creek Wines

Wine Notes:

  • Winery: Tortoise Creek
  • Alcohol: 14.7%
  • Varietal/Blend: 90% Zinfandel, 5% Tannat, & 5% Petite Syrah
  • Fermenting/Aging: 6 months in oak

Tasting Notes:

Medium bodied jammy zinfandel, but not overly sweet as some zinfandels can be.  Raspberry, cherry and plum notes mix pleasantly with flavors of vanilla and cinnamon in the long finish.

I did pair this particular wine with an amazing margarita pizza.  It was really nice with the fresh tomato and basil. I think it also would have held up well with something spicer, though I personally don't usually care for food that's too spicy.  

I really enjoyed this wine. And while it was a bit expensive by the glass (what wine isn't in a touristy downtown area?), I was pleasantly surprised at the bottle cost when I looked it up.  This is something we could easily pick up a few bottles of to have on hand.  It also made me realize that I need to try more Lodi zinfandels! 

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Are you looking for other moderately priced great wines? Check out our list of great wines under $25!

Tell me what you think about this Zinfandel!

Or do you have another favorite you think we should try for another Wine Down Wednesday!

Wine Down Wednesday Tortoise Creek Zinfandel

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Jess Walker

I love all things wine: drinking it, learning about how it's made, visiting where it's made, pairing with foods! I'm naturally curious, so back in 2013 during my first trip to Europe when I tasted my first glass of fantastic Rioja, I was hooked and had to start learning all I could on the subject. After a long time of friends asking me for wines to try or activities to add to their vacation itineraries, I decided to start a blog to write it all down. And that is how Wine, Dine, and Roam began!

Jess Walker

  1. Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.
    been busy planting the garden for this year.
    I used to drink Zin. I like it.
    Maybe I should plant grapes for Travis an you.
    you could make your own wine

    1. Zinfandel is what we’re currently hooked on!

      Also, not so sure that you should plant any grapes… we certainly don’t have the time or knowledge to make our own wine. We’re content to drink other people’s!

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