Alderbrook Winery Old Vine Zinfandel 2002
This OVOC (old vine old clone) Zinfandel is truly a representative of the Dry Creek Valley. It is sourced from 12 different growers including their own estate vineyard at the southern tip of the appellation, as well as a unique site at the opposite end of the valley, which sits at 800 feet elevation overlooking Lake Sonoma.
This dark rich wine issues ripe blackberry aromas in concert with black spice notes including anise and cola. The mouth feel is soft and juicy with hints of pepper and more blackberry and plum fruit flavors. The toasty oak finish is given a touch of warmth from the 14.2% alcohol. Experience the Zin!
"This is great Zin, filled with personality. Showcases the briary, brambly wild blackberry and blueberry flavors, spices and dusty tannins this appellation is famous for. Finishes dry and smooth. Beautiful and compelling now."
Not only does the estate vineyard receive the afternoon heat that is typical of Dry Creek Valley weather patterns, but the cool night air creeping up the Russian River Valley from the Pacific Ocean produces evening and early morning fog, cooling the vines. Alderbrook's vineyard enjoys the luxury of extended "hang time." This produces more mature fruit resulting in rich, full-bodied flavor characteristics: qualities which are ultimately apparent in the wines.
"The blend of climates is a gift, and our estate vines benefit tremendously from the unique weather conditions," says general manager, George Christie. Our incredible location at the junction of these two appellations gives us the perfect raw materials for wine making."
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
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.