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Bella Vineyards Big River Ranch Zinfandel 2013

Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP92
  • CG91
750ML / 14.8% ABV
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750ML / 14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Ripe raspberry meets medicinal undertones in this structured, complex zinfandel. Notes of cedar and blackcurrant evolve into dusty tannins matched with vibrant acidity.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The last Zinfandel, the 2013 Zinfandel Big River Ranch is perhaps the most exuberantly fruity of the wines. It displays a dense purple color like the rest, with loads of briary, rich, spicy blackberry and black cherry fruit, licorice and pepper. Sexy, lush and heady, this is a wine to drink over the next 8-10 years as well.
CG 91
Connoisseurs' Guide
Ripe though it may be, this wine comes with notions of polish and class to its distinctly berryish fruit, and its obvious energy and its oaky and lightly foresty overlays all work in harmony and lift the wine to the edge of stardom. Its tannins are fairly formidable and do counter any inclinations that this one is anywhere near ready to drink, yet its combination of depth and varietal focus encourages a bit of cellar time, and we would set it aside for three to six years.
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Bella Vineyards

Bella Vineyards

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Bella Vineyards, California
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Scott and Lynn Adams burst onto the wine scene withthe 1999 vintage, and continue to offer distinctivelydifferent wines from their estate vineyards nearHealdsburg, and a few other sites that complementtheir unwavering devotion to quality farming. Theirfocused attention to making limited quantities of great wines hasresulted in an ever growing base of Bella fanatics. Their wineryevents and parties are legendary, but what really sets them apartis their terrific portfolio of wines, a combination of restrained powerand age-worthy elegance.
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Alexander Valley

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Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.

In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.

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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 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.

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.

BELZN13BR_2013 Item# 151369