Borjon Zinfandel Reposado 2012
The Borjón family comes from the small town of Paracuaro in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. Isy's parents Jesus and Nora Borjón arrived in the Shenandoah Valley over 30 years ago. Jesus began working in the vineyards doing every job imaginable while Nora was a stay at home mother with their three children. Eventually, Jesus and Nora had saved enough to start their own small labor contracting business in 1991. The drive and work ethic of Jesus lead to the unimaginable expansion of Borjón Labor Contracting and Vineyard Management.
Providing the valley with labor services since 1991, the Borjón’s had always enjoyed the taste of wine and had always dreamt of having a winery of their own. Seeing first hand the tremendous growth in the valley and the addition of so many wineries only added to the desire of one day being winery owners.
Essentially growing up on a vineyard, Isy was groomed for leadership. In 2005, at the age of only 19, he was handed the reigns to the families vineyard management business. That same year he started his own family marrying his beautiful wife Eliana. Taking what knowledge they had gained over years of working with vineyards and wineries, they selected some of the best grapes Amador County produces to create Borjón wines. Combining their own ideas with local wine making techniques, they crafted Borjón Winery's version of great Amador County Wines. With the help of his parents, Isy and Eliana opened the tasting room in May of 2009.
As the lower part of the greater Sierra Foothills appellation, Amador is roughly a plateau whose vineyards grow at 1,200 to 2,000 feet in elevation. It is 100 miles east of both San Francisco and Napa Valley. Most of its wineries are in the oak-studded rolling hillsides of Shenandoah Valley or east in Fiddletown, where elevations are slightly higher.
The Sierra Foothills growing area was among the largest wine producers in the state during the gold rush of the late 1800s. The local wine industry enjoyed great success until just after the turn of the century when fortune-seekers moved elsewhere and its population diminished. With Prohibition, winemaking was totally abandoned, along with its vineyards. But some of these, especially Zinfandel, still remain and are the treasure chest of the Sierra Foothills as we know them.
Most Amador vines are planted in volcanic soils derived primarily from sandy clay loam and decomposed granite. Summer days are hot but nighttime temperatures typically drop 30 degrees and the humidity is low, making this an ideal environment for grape growing. Because there is adequate rain throughout the year and even snow in the winter, dry farming is possible.
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.