Primary: Zins, regardless of style lean toward juicy dark cherry and thorny berry fruits such as raspberry and blackberry and just as the berries they favor, can have wild and unexpected notes of spice, licorice and black pepper especially when grown in warmer areas. Just ripe, fresher fruit flavors are associated with wines from more moderate climates while over-ripe, baked, jammy and even dried berry flavors are undeniably warm climate Zins.
Secondary: When exposed to oak, smoky undertones paired with enhanced spice and pepper notes, often toasted in flavor add depth to this varietal’s fruit-forward primary flavors. Newer oak drives more pure woody notes of cedar, sawdust, charred wood and burnt tobacco.
Tertiary: In true American style, most Zins are consumed young. Aged Zins have much tamer fruit flavors and lose some of their wild, spiciness over time. Earthy flavors can develop, but tertiary influences are more aligned with softening the wine’s complexity and boldness versus developing significantly new flavor notes.