Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2006
Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
Selected from the best barrels of the vintage, this wine takes complexity and depth to another dimension. Layers of flavors and aromas, enhanced by focus and length, destine our Estate Reserves to age gracefully over many years.
Wine & Spirits - "Jerry and Sigrid Seps select the barrels for this reserve, the top lot from their hillside estate overlooking Mount St. Helena and the Palisades in northern Napa Valley. The vineyard forms an ampitheatre facing northeast, with enough cool morning sun to ripen the grapes with the kind of pure, fresh fruit flavors that Bordeaux's first growths attain in the finest vintages. But rather than the black currant depths of cabernet, here it's zin's basket of raspberries, cool and delicious. This is perfectly formed, youthfully floral, with sweetness in the fruit tannin that captures the late autumn sun. After tasting this wine, I decided to organize a zin tour of Napa Valley with David Darlington. We tasted the 2001 and 1981 Reserves at Storybook, which led me to believe that my score on the 2006 is conservative."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "This perennial high-performer returns in 2006 with another stellar outing in which its tight first aromas are terrifically well-focused on bright, pert, concentrated blackberry fruit with a claret-like sense of potential in their midst. As expected from the nose, the wine is firm, balanced and deep with solid, if youthfully reluctant yet impeccably crafted flavors. Bottle aging will be this wine's greatest ally, and we would counsel that it be put in the cellar for some three to four years at a minimum--with the full expectation that this Zin has a decade of forward momentum in its kit bag."
Storybook Mountain Vineyards
Storybook Mountain is a winery totally dedicated to Zinfandel and has established a worldwide reputation for consistently high quality. The Zinfandel tradition began at Storybook Mountain in the early 1880s when its red clay-loam hillsides in the Mayacamas Range were first planted to this varietal. Here, the perfect match of estate and grape allows Zinfandel to show its true potential. Storybook Mountain's sought-after estate wines are carefully hand-crafted from choice grapes grown without the use of insecticides or herbicides. They are aged at least 12 months in the best French and American oak barrels, inside century-old caves dug deep into the mineral-rich volcanic rock underlying the hand-tended vineyard. Proprietor Jerry Seps' Zinfandels are famed for elegance and longevity. Raspberries, black cherries and spice are the keynote of these complex, well balanced wines. View all Storybook Mountain Vineyards 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.