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93 Insider Points


The 2012 Sylk Zinfandel is a beautiful and refreshing wine that is drinking more on the light and fresh side for Zin.  Black cherry and cassis blend with raspberry and pipe tobacco on the silky smooth palate, with a vibrant acidity that maintains through the finish.  A very well made wine from a single vineyard in Russian River that way over delivers for this price.  Enjoy now through 2020. - DZ Nov 2016


2012 Sylk Zinfandel Leras Ranch
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    Russian River Valley, CA
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If the Russian River Valley is the soul of Sonoma then Zinfandel is its heartbeat. This jubilant and daring 2012 Sylk Leras Ranch Zinfandel will make your heart race, and perhaps dance a little.

Grab a glass and let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane! It’ll be very quick, we promise.
California’s (and America’s) signature grape came riding into town with Gold Rush of the 1850s.  People from across the world brought with their hopes, families, and their libations with them. From the hills of Croatia to the multi-faceted landscape of California came Zinfandel, from Zinfandel grapes came the wine, and the wine was good.

You’ll find no more jubilant expression of Zinfandel that this from Leras Ranch in the Russian River Valley.  From the bird’s eye view, the rolling agrarian landscape is picturesque, with softly sloping vineyards lined neatly up and around the contours of each low-slung hill.  Thanks to long sunny days and foggy California “sweater weather” nights, the 2012 Sylk Leras Ranch Zinfandel is bold, spicy, and balanced, a classic wine which stands tall among contenders.

A hardwon prize from Invino CEO Anthony Westfall's latest wine caper, this is a perfectly bold and celebratory Zinfandel.  And what better cause for celebration than National Zinfandel Day? We can't think of one either, so cheers to the true treasure of the Gold Rush: amazing Zinfandel!


Dark purple plum with ruby edges. Bold blackberry and black cherry leap from the glass. These are followed by sweet cherry cordial, cranberry, cherry candy, dusty bramble, pipe tobacco, sweet spice and toasty oak. Juicy and bursting with flavors of smoky cherry, cranberry, blackberry preserve, blueberry, bramble, dried fall leaves, dark tobacco leaf, sweet oak, caramelized sugar and sweet spice. Extended, plush and warm, with chewy tannins that give the wine a solid feel on the palate.


Sylk had its beginnings in 2001 when Carl Thorsen, a retired PriceWaterhouseCoopers partner, met Stephen Blum, a Los Angeles real estate developer. Their adjoining Napa Valley properties were ideally located for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, and their mutual love of wine reinforced the decision to plant the vineyard in 2002 and patiently wait until 2006 for the first commercial harvest.

Under the careful cultivation of Javier Renteria, the vineyard developed with a focus on high-quality wine grapes. Each year, most of the fruit was cut from the vines to enhance cane and root structure development. In 2006, the harvest was brought from vine to barrel by our wine makers Bob Pepi and Jeff Booth. Jeff is now our sole wine maker, but he gladly shares decisions and responsibilities with Carl, who was graduated from the UC Davis wine maker program.

Our wives, Lyn Thorsen and Marion Brown, have been amply rewarded for their collaboration and encouragement. Their reward? They now comprise our sales and marketing team and would like you to click here to buy some wine now so you don’t have to read any more of this self-congratulatory text. We are, after all, just some folks who decided to take a shot at making a few cases of very sophisticated and thoroughly delicious wine.


This is the quintessential BBQ wine! Enjoy with sauce-slathered anything or an herb rubbed beer can chicken.