Armida Maple Vineyard Zinfandel 2000
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.
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 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.