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A. Rafanelli Dry Creek Zinfandel 1994

  • WS90
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • RP92
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
With a core of spicy anise, raspberry and cherry flavors, turning supple and harmonious on the finish, it's not quite up to the barrel sample, but better now than previously reviewed.
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A. Rafanelli

A. Rafanelli

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A. Rafanelli, California
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The Rafanelli family is now in its fourth generation of growing grapes and making wine in the Dry Creek Valley. Our winery is small and family operated. Our focus has always been on quality over quantity.

At A. Rafanelli Winery, we work hard at maintaining a tradition of producing premium grapes and handcrafting world class wines. We believe that the wines are first made in the vineyard and then achieve their maximum potential through traditional winemaking practices such as open top fermentation and non-filtration.

Our quaint and rustic winery sits on a knoll overlooking the scenic Dry Creek Valley and is surrounded by some of our terraced hillside vineyards. The winery consistently specializes in some of the finest Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.

Our wines are not available in any retail outlets, they can only be purchased at the winery.

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Dry Creek Valley

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A multifaceted and highly reputable sub-region of Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley is responsible for a wide range of wine styles—both red and white. One of the smallest AVAs in California, Dry Creek Valley has a winning combination of ideal geography and climate. Fertile, well-drained soils create concentrated varietal character while long, warm days, bookended by cool nights, allow grapes to reach full phenolic ripeness and balance. The warm and welcoming appellation is home to a number of family-owned vineyards and wineries that place a strong emphasis on sustainable farming practices.

Zinfandel reigns supreme here and still produces in a great number of very old vineyards—often 100 years old or older. These old vines create a powerful, voluptuous and sultry wine unlike those of any other region. Sauvignon Blanc, the valley’s signature white grape, also performs exceptionally well. Many other varieties grow comfortably here, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Syrah. Petite Sirah is often found in blends with Zinfandel.

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Zinfandel

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Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. And it fact it owns this title by having the ability to adapt to the states’ many microclimates and landscapes, producing unique expressions of the grape throughout. Zinfandel thrives in California’s Central Coast, as well throughout Sonoma County, parts of Napa Valley, the Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Paso Robles.

Zinfandel was born in Croatia and later made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. The astute imperial nursery of Vienna collected specimens of the vine and acted as the source of its journey to New England, carried by George Gibbs circa 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly expresses powerful notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often expresses red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics of juniper and menthol.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs or anything barbecued. More delicate Zins work with pork, lamb curry and even Ceasar Salad or Salad Nicoise.

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, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex.

LSB194631_1994 Item# 194631