Girard Old Vine Zinfandel 2008
Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
In keeping with the well established Girard style, this Old Vine Zinfandel is a beautifully balanced expression of unique terroir. There's a plethora of ripe red fruit from the old vines. Their natural spiciness is augmented by the judicious use of oak to add complexity. This is a silky, juicy zinfandel which will complement a wide range of foods. The natural acidity makes it a perfect foil to tomato based sauces as well as grilled meats.
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Ripeness and well-defined fruit are comfortably juxtaposed in this deep and very convincing young Zinfandel and the varietal's berry-like voice is given free play throughout. While moderately full-bodied, the wine is alive and balanced from beginning to end, and, if a bit given to last-minute acidity, it is built for improvement and has all of the right stuff in all of the right pieces to evolve nicely over the next half-dozen years."
Wine Enthusiast - "A fine Zinfandel, ripe and balanced. The wine shows concentrated wild berry, licorice, fruit liqueur, jam, bacon and spice flavors. Yet the richness is balanced with fine acidity and soft but intricate tannins, and the finish is dry. Drink now-2013 for freshness."
Thirty years after first planting its vineyards, Girard continues to produce wine reflecting the quality that has made Napa Valley the most famous New World wine growing region in the world. Napa’s rise to fame was punctuated by a renaissance that began at the same time Girard was setting down its own roots.
Today, Girard is experiencing a similar rebirth of sorts. Longtime California vintner Pat Roney purchased the winery shortly after the new millenium. Pat’s career in wine began as a sommelier at Chicago’s renowned Pump Room. Later he returned to his native California, where he ultimately became president of Chateau St. Jean, in Sonoma Valley.
At Girard, Pat continues a tradition of making Chardonnay and Cabernet-based wines. But he is also expanding Girard’s varietal focus to Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, grown on century-old vines that dot the Napa countryside. As it has been in the past, Girard’s goal is to highlight the flavors of Napa Valley and its rich, ripe grapes. A small portion of the winery’s portfolio also comes from grapes grown in Sonoma’s upscale Russian River Valley, where cool weather offers ideal conditions for Chardonnay.
With the right grapes from the right locations, Girard offers a lineup that features both power and finesse—key words in California wine. View all Girard 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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1 rating, 1 with reviewOutlier - Redding, CA32/4/2011Girard Old Vine Zinfandel 2008. This is the first bottle of wine I have purchased. The aroma is light and does not linger. To the taste it has reserve but natural flavor and flows smoothly upon the throat. The end has a slight wisp and tingle, with a light aftertaste that vanishes within seconds. To my naive expectations this wine is average to above average. For me, I must experience more in my journey into wine.
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.
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