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Easton Amador County Zinfandel 2011

Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
  • WS90
14.5% ABV
  • WW90
  • WE90
  • WE91
  • WS90
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4.2 3 Ratings
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4.2 3 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2011 has full black cherry and blackberry fruit aromas with a beautiful balance and a big, sumptuous, and juicy mouth feel. It also presents complex spicy aromas, with a nice creamy texture derived from the 10 months time it receives in, only, French oak barrels.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Floral, sleek and elegant, with aromas of raspberry and riverbed rock, offering supple, balanced cherry and spicy fennel flavors that linger on the finish.
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Easton

Easton

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Easton, Sierra Foothills, California
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Bill Easton is one of the pioneers of Amador's modern winemaking era, founding his winery in 1984, and his wines still lead the pack in terms of quality. Easton's high elevation sites reach up to 3,200 feet and contribute to the complexity of the wines.

Easton puts his name on his non-Rhône varietals wines, those that have traditionally worked the best in Amador County and the Sierra Foothills: ancient and old-vine Zinfandel, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc. Under the Easton label he also bottles small selections of varietals new to the Sierra Foothills: Grenache Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc.

Easton makes wines that are unique and site-specific with a sense of place all of their own. He farms and runs his winery sustainably, even relying entirely on solar power for his tasting room and winemaking facilities.

Sierra Foothills

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Originally a source of oenological sustenance for gold-seeking miners of the mid-1800s, the Sierra Foothills was the first region in California to produce wines from European grape varieties. Located between Sacramento and the Nevada border, this area’s immigrant settlers chose to forgo growing the then-ubiquitous Mission grape and instead brought with them superior vines from the Old World to plant alongside mining camps.

Zinfandel has been the most important variety of this region since its inception, taking on a spicy character with brambly fruit and firm structure. Amador and El Dorado counties, benefiting from the presence of volcanic and granite soils, are home to the best examples. Bold, robust Rhône blends and Barberas are also important regional specialties.

Zinfandel

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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

FBR102295_2011 Item# 123763