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Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2015

Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
  • WE89
15% ABV
  • WS91
  • WS89
  • RP88
  • WS87
  • WE90
  • WE89
  • W&S85
  • WE89
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3.9 33 Ratings
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3.9 33 Ratings
15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Wonderful, fat strawberry, with coffee and chocolate characters. Ripe fruit and soft tannins make this a mouth-coating rich vintage.Dark berries, coffee and chocolate with great vanilla oak character and a long lingering finish.

Pairs with pasta dishes with a light tomato sauce and grilled meats.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 89
Wine Enthusiast
It's great to find both lots of fruit and good structure in a Zin, especially at such a reasonable price. Spicy aromas like vanilla and nutmeg precede vivid and ripe fruit flavors and more of those oaky spices on the palate where firm tannins and a bite of acidity give a mouthwatering balance.
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Cline
Cline, San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
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Fred Cline founded Cline Cellars in 1982, in Oakley, California. In 1991, the winery facilities relocated to the Sonoma Valley on a 350 acre estate in the Carneros District. The Cline Brothers, Fred and Matt, are Zinfandel and Rhone varietal specialists. Their holdings include some of the oldest and rarest vines in California. They are best known for the one hundred year old plantings of Carignane, Mourvedre and Zinfandel grapes they farm in Oakley, California. The Mourvedre represent approximately 85% of the state's total supply of this fascinating and versatile varietal. This treasure is the inspiration for Cline Cellars many "Rhone style" bottlings.

San Francisco Bay

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A large Northern California appellation centered on the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Francisco Bay AVA falls within the larger Central Coast AVA. The smaller appellations of Livermore Valley, Pacheco Pass, San Ysidro District and Santa Clara Valley AVAs fall within the San Francisco Bay boundaries.

Zinfandel

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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

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 vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

RRM71413_2015 Item# 167085