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Zinfandel

The Grape

Zinfandel is a black-skinned red grape varietal with its origins in Austria. Zinfandel's thin-skinned grapes grow in large, tight bunches that are sometimes prone to bunch rot. The fruit ripens fairly early and produces juice with high sugar content. Zinfandel is the official grape of California and is grown in over ten percent of California vineyards. The grape is widely grown across hot, warm, and cooler regions. Napa Valley, Sonoma County, San Luis Obispo, Alexander Valley, Paso Robles, Amador, Santa Clara Valley, Sloughhouse, and Lodi are notable areas for high quality Zinfandel production in California. Worldwide, Zinfandel is widely grown in Italy, Croatia, and Austria.

The Wine

Zinfandel is a sturdy vine that grows best in warm to hot climates. The warm weather allows the fruit to ripen quickly and turn their acid into sugars producing a bright big fruit flavor. This ripening process also makes for a higher alcohol wine than most red varietals. The thin skins of the grapes mean that Zinfandel has a medium low tannin structure. The flavor profile of Zinfandel can range from delicate red fruit like raspberry and strawberry to hearty earthy dark fruit like plum and blackberry. Medium bodied Zinfandels are often made in a style that retains the black fruit characteristics and aromas but also have a distinctive spice of black pepper, tar, tobacco, licorice, and oak.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a hearty wine that pairs with hearty foods. Stews, lamb, beef, sausages, barbecue, turkey, game, pheasant, chili and tomato based pasta dishes all lend themselves nicely to the fruit flavor and mild tannin structure of Zinfandel.

Shop Zinfandel Wines

2011 Humanitas 'Good Earth' Zinfandel Willy's Vineyard
$ 45.00

Humanitas Willy's Vineyard Zinfandel from Chiles Valley has a nose on it that  is a cauldron of aromas. Try mixing up a cinnamon apple with toasted coconut, raspberry compote and a little cola and that might come close. And as the wine sits in the glass, it continues to morph into hints of orange zest, leather, white pepper... all really delightful scents. On the palate, the wine is intense It's like essence of Zinfandel - thick, rich, full-bodied. This is BBQ ribs wine or a good hearty tri-tip marinated and cooked over mesquite. Grab some of your more outgoing friends, grill up the ribs, blare some good old Southern Rock and settle in for the ride!

Winemaker’s Comments


The ‘Good Earth’ tier celebrates specific vineyards showcasing a distinct style of a particular varietal unique to that vineyard site. Willy’s Vineyard in the Chiles Valley of Napa is quintessentially ‘unique’ with ancient ‘old soldier’ head pruned vines really on their last legs, but so expressive and wise in their old age.

Yields are anemic, the vines look like they need canes just to stand up, and several of the vines have simply given up the ghost. But those that remain have fruit is so intense & so in concert with their site that there is no other Zinfandel vineyard quite like it. This is more like Zinfandel extract than ‘regular’ Zin. It is a dazzling expression of the grape Napa used to be known for – the noble Zinfandel!

Wine Description


Willy’s Zinfandel has a nose on it that is a cauldron of smells. Try mixing up a cinnamon apple with toasted coconut, raspberry compote and a little cola and that might come close. And as the wine sits in the glass, it continues to morph into more & more hints of things like orange zest, leather, white pepper…all really delightful scents.

On the palate, the wine is…intense! It is like essence of Zinfandel – thick, rich, full-bodied…it is really a striking wine one can’t help but remember. Spices & raspberries; tobacco & leather; earth & toast…all things we love about this varietal. This is BBQ ribs wine…or a good hearty tri-tip marinated & cooked over mesquite. Nothing shy about this wine – grab some of your more outgoing friends, grill up the ribs, blare some good old Southern Rock (how ‘bout the Allman Bros or some vintage Marshall Tucker?) and settle in for the ride. Willy will deliver a wine experience you will cherish!

Alcohol: 14.9%
Bottling Date: August 21, 2013
Appellation: Napa ‘Willy’s Vineyard’ Designation Chiles Valley
Blend: 100% Napa Zinfandel
Wood: 10 months American & French Oak

Limited Production - 306 Cases 

2012 Coruce Zinfandel
$ 24.99

91 - Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Silver Medal - San Francisco Chronicle

2012 Coruce Zinfandel Antelope Valley

This wine is comprised of 90% Zinfandel, 5% Syrah and 5% Petite Sirah.  The fruit was all hand harvested and table sorted followed by a 48 hour cold soak on the skins.  The fruit was fermented for 18 days and then pressed off the skins and racked off the solids into 3 and 4 year old American oak barrels and aged for 18 months.

This wine has flavors and aromas of wild blackberry and brambly raspberry fruits, cherry, cola and leather followed with a toasty finish.  Medium tannins

2012 Oak Cliff Cellars Firebrick Zinfandel
$ 35.00

Double Gold/Best of Class - Riverside International Wine Competition 2014
$20 flat fee shipping on purchases of 1-12 bottles

Tasting Notes 

Exhibiting exceptional clarity and brilliance in the glass, this wine is effusive with a seductive nose of strawberries and cinnamon followed by layers of strawberries, raspberries with peppery notes leading to a long finish.

Terroir 

Firebrick Hill Vineyard sits 1000 - 1200’ above sea level in northeastern Mendocino County just north of Lake Mendocino, on the Ricetti bench, an alluvial terrace. Vineyards in the Redwood Valley AVA sit about 200 feet higher in elevation than those along the Russian River, further downstream in Ukiah and Hopland . The climate of this upland valley is slightly cooler than vineyards to the south, furthered by a gap in the coastal ridge which allows cool Pacific air currents to penetrate. These conditions result in a longer growing season and a gradual ripening of fruit that makes Redwood Valley wines refined, with more acidity and deeper color. The notable red soil of the area also provides depth of color and flavor to the wines. The result is layered, nuanced wines with great structure and bright fruit, like the peppery, spicy Zinfandels for which the Redwood Valley is known.

Varietal:                      100% Zinfandel
Region:                       Redwood Valley AVA, Mendocino County, California
Alcohol:                      14.9%

Limited Production - 260 Cases 

 

2014 Calstar Alta Zinfandel
Starting at: $ 20.00

20% Discount On Bottle Price With Purchase Of A Case 

Tasting Notes 

Clear, deep ruby crimson color with violet glints.  A complex, meaty and multifaceted Zinfandel with all the power and fruit of an old vine vineyard.  Blackberry, au jus, toasty sweet oak and black pepper aromas are supported by hints of mushroom and dried thyme.  The palette follows with juicy berry acidity and velvety chewy tannins.  Flavors of black plum skin, fig compote, dried herbs and roast beef with concentrated fruit and a dark, brooding finish. 

Winemaker Notes 

As a true Zinfandel lover, Proprietor and Winemaker, Rick Davis, wanted a vineyard that balanced the big, jammy notes of classic Zin with the minerality, lean tannins and age-ability of a cooler climate.  In the hills of El Dorado County, vineyards range from 1,200 to 3,500 feet in elevation, exposing Zinfandel to hot, sultry days and very chilly nights during the summer season.  In addition, the growing season is longer than most appellations, with slow, gradual ripening creating balanced, food-friendly Zinfandels worthy of cellar time.

Varietal Composition: 100% Zinfandel
Appellation: El Dorado County
Vineyard: Cardanini Vineyard
Alcohol: 15.1%
Acidity: 5.64 g/L
pH: 3.78
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Aging Potential: 5-7 Years 

Limited Production 220 Cases 

2014 Calstar Za Za Zinfandel
Starting at: $ 14.40

20% Discount Off Bottle Price With Purchase Of A Case 

Winemaker Notes 

Medium ruby purple in color.  Bright and lively on the nose with aromas of strawberry jam, sweet oak spice, vanilla and blackberry pie.  Though rich in fruit and spice, the palette is pleasantly light with a juicy cranberry-like acidity.  Jammy berries, maple, cedarbox and black plum dominate while subtle flavors of bay leaf, dried oregano and mushroom provide complexity.  Soft, chewy tannins provide structure and promise several years of aging in bottle, allowing the ample berry fruitiness to evolve and reveal more secondary savory notes.

Vineyard Profile 

100% STOKES VINEYARD
Proprietor and Winemaker, Rick Davis first met Bill Stokes, owner of Stokes Vineyard, over ten years ago while searching for old vine Zinfandel in the up-and-coming area of Lodi in San Joaquin County.  The fruit from Stokes Vineyard never disappoints with richness and intensity that comes from old vines with subtle spice notes that all speak to the vineyard management and site.

 

Technical Data

Varietal Composition: 100% Old Vine Zinfandel 
Appellation: Lodi AVA
Barrel Aging: 20% New, Hungarian & American cooperages
Alcohol: 15.5%
Bottling Date: June 30, 2015
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Aging Potential: 5-7 Years

Limited Production 228 Cases