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Bear Flag Zinfandel 2015

Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
  • TP93
  • WS92
  • WW92
  • WE91
15.3% ABV
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3.9 37 Ratings
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3.9 37 Ratings
15.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Structured and full-bodied, this wine has a spicy Zinfandel character complemented by jammy, dark fruit flavors reminiscent of blueberry pie. Notes of toasted oak and vanilla combine with a plush, lingering mouthfeel.

Blend: 78% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 6% Teroldego, 5% Malbec, 2% other select varieties.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
TP 93
Tasting Panel
Based on a California Republic Proclamation from 1846, this wine offers a nod to Sonoma’s place in history. It was the location for the Bear Flag Revolt, a fight for Californian independence. We see this as a great representation from one of the state’s best growing regions for this variety. With 78% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 6% Teroldego, 5% Malbec, and 2% other varieties, the majority of the fruit hails from Dry Creek Valley. With classic Zin aromas of peppered nettle and blueberry tart, the palate is rich, dense, and forward. This plucky Zin shows brightness, with a rustic, textured mouthfeel.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Plump and piquant, with expressive blackberry and orange zest aromas and lots of personality, accenting smoky cracked pepper and black olive flavors that build toward zesty tannins. Drink now through 2022
WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: If there was ever a wine concept that embodies what the wild, wild West was all about, the Bear Flag Zinfandel has captured that idea as good as any winery could have. The 2015 vintage—my first look ever at this winery's wines—takes berry extraction and the fine line to stay balance to the next level. TASTING NOTES: Deep in color; shows a powerful array of berries—raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, stays long and full on the palate and finishes with a lush roundness. Pair its rich flavors with an oven-baked pork tenderloin topped with a fruit compote. (Tasted: February 8, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This wine pays homage to a historic revolt in Sonoma in 1846. Waves of dark cherry and vanilla surround a strong core of integrated oak and supple texture in this well-made wine. Ripe, full-bodied and well-balanced, this wine will please many a palate with ease.
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Bear Flag

Bear Flag

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Bear Flag, Sonoma County, California
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Having now worked more than 20 vintages in the vineyards of California, Aaron Piotter is excited by his next adventure as winemaker for Bear Flag. A deeply personal project, Bear Flag allows Aaron to represent Sonoma, his hometown, with perhaps the its best-known variety. He understands the dynamic growing region and what it takes to craft a truly authentic California Zinfandel.

“California’s remarkable, persistent heat and cooler nights push Zinfandel into the ripe, jammy berry spectrum. This region is known for making amazing Zinfandel, and some of the top, if not the best, wineries who specialize in this variety are in Sonoma County,” he says.

Aaron and his wife love going on adventures with their two children, who were both born in Sonoma, and are excited for their local roots to continue spreading. With his family still residing in Sonoma, they enjoy spending time with his parents, eating meals in their backyard under giant cork oak and fig trees and taking hikes in the Eastern hills of Sonoma - the same hillsides that were deemed ideal for Zinfandel 160 years ago.

Sonoma County

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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.

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 importation to New England by George Gibbs, probably in 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.

CDW112831_2015 Item# 337701