Armida Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2018
For over 25 years brothers Steve and Bruce Cousins have crafted terroir-driven single-vineyard wines from some of Sonoma’s most iconic vineyards including Maple Vineyard, Gap’s Crown, Durell, Parmelee-Hill, and Castelli-Knight. Recently they’ve added Chalone Vineyards Chardonnay and Point Noir from this storied vineyard, the only one in the Chalone AVA at the base of an extinct volcano bordering the Pinnacles National Park. Armida also produces a number of unique offering including Domus Alba (their Sauvignon-Semillion homage to white Bordeaux), Tina’s Block Zinfandel (from an ancient block in Maple Vineyard planted in 1910) and POIZIN, “The Wine to Die For.”
Working with Winemaker Brandon Lapides, Steve and Bruce strive to produce wines that express their provenance, the unique combination of flavors and texture from each different vineyard. The wine making approach is minimalist as the grapes are simply guided in a natural process (picking, fermentation, racking), remarkably unchanged in thousands of years, and resulting in intense, flavorful and complex wines.
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.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel has secured it’s title as the darling of California vintners by adapting well to the states’ diverse microclimates and landscapes. Born in Croatia, it later made its way to southern Italy where it was named Primitivo. Fortunately, the imperial nursery of Vienna catalogued specimens of the vine, which sourced a journey to New England in 1829. Parading the true American spirit, Zinfandel found a new home in California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Somm Secret—California's ancient vines of Zinfandel are those that survived the neglect of Prohibition; today these vines produce the most concentrated, ethereal and complex examples.