Clif Family Winery Gary's Improv Zinfandel 2009
Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
This rich, fruit-forward wine offers intense aromas of ripe cherries and vanilla. Blackberry jam and mulled spice flavors linger on the palate. The densely layered and complex flavor profile and subtle oak influence integrate with the soft tannic structure, ending in a long and satisfying finish.
Grapes for our 2009 Gary's Improv Zinfandel were sourced from the Saviez Vineyard in Calistoga. This wine was aged in a blend of 30% new and 70% second fill American oak barrels for 16 months.
Wine Enthusiast - "A powerful Zinfandel, this is dry and balanced. It' classic Napa Valley, with ripe fruit and superb tannin structure. It floods the mouth with flavors of blackberry, black currant, cedar and licorice, with touches of spices ranging from pepper to cloves and cinnamon. Terrific with lamb shanks over creamy, baked polenta."
Clif Family Winery
You may know us as the people behind Clif Bar & Company. We are the makers of Clif Bar, LUNA and other nutritious, organic products. We have always had a passion for the outdoors and great food and wine. After a long day of hiking or cycling, we enjoy nothing better than relaxing over a meal with family and friends enjoyed over a great bottle of wine. After moving to the Napa Valley in 1997, this passion continued and we began making our own wine in 2004. Now with winemakers Bruce Regalia and Sarah Gott, we are committed to making high quality, affordable wines sourced from sustainable or organic vineyards whenever possible. Enjoy! View all Clif Family Winery Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.