Adelaida Zinfandel 2016
Adelaida's distinct family-owned vineyards lie in the hillside terrain of Paso Robles' Adelaida District, 14 miles from the Pacific coast. Ranging from 1400 - 2000 feet in elevation these low yielding vines are challenged by chalky limestone soils and afternoon blasts of cool marine air, and a diurnal temperature swing of 40-50 degrees.
2016 was a banner year for growing fine wine grapes. The Central Coast experienced steady, warm temperatures giving us long hang times. Harvested over two weeks in early September, grapes were hand sorted, desteemed, optically sorted, and small batch fermented on in-digenous yeast cultures. Later it was aged in a mix of French and Hun-garian oak barrels for 15 months. The finished wine is an expression of its mountain terroir, racy with electric vibrancy of ripe raspberries and cranberries with cinnamon stick spiciness. Best enjoyed in the near term for its exuberant fruitiness, drink up by 2021.
Adelaida Vineyards & Winery is located in Paso Robles and is the premier winery in the Adelaida District. Founded in 1981, Adelaida Vineyards is built on a vision of excellence and their goal is to produce the most distinct and compelling wines from their estate vineyards. The estate vineyards encompass 180 acres that span across distinct areas of mountainous terrain characterized by chalk-rock limestone soils, afternoon blasts of cool coastal air, and a daily 40 to 50 degree temperature swing. These unique and varied locations led to specifically designated grape varietals. By taking advantage of the unique soil, elevation, and microclimates on the property, Adelaida maximizes fruit quality. Through meticulous attention to detail in the vineyards, Adelaida is able to express the unique and diverse character of their soil and climate.
Covering the Santa Lucia Range in the northwestern portion of the greater Paso Robles appellation, the Adelaida District AVA reaches from 900 feet to over 2,000 feet in elevation. The appellation does well with Rhone and Bordeaux varieties as well as Zinfandel.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. In 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.
Tasting Notes for Zinfandel
Zinfandel is a dry red wine, though typically forward in fruit. Notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice are common. Very ripe examples may express a dried fruit quakity like fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often shows red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics like juniper and menthol.
Perfect Food Pairings for Zinfandel
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 Secrets for Zinfandel
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.