Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2017
The 2017 Ancient Vines Zinfandel shows spicy, bright strawberry, with coffee and chocolate characters. Ripe fruit and soft tannins make this a mouth-coating rich vintage. Aging on new and used oak has lent this wine a subtle vanilla quality that nicely complements the explosive fruit notes. Enjoy now or cellar for 5 to 7 years.
The Ancient Vines Zinfandel draws primarily from a wide selection of our oldest, most historic and shyest-bearing Zinfandel blocks in Contra Costa County. Grapes were planted by Italian and Portuguese immigrants in the sandy, phylloxera-resistant soils of Oakley, California more than 100 years ago.
Blend: 97% Zinfandel, 3% Carignane
Cline Family Cellars is a family-owned and operated winery founded by Fred and Nancy Cline in 1982 in Oakley, CA. The winery facilities were relocated in 1991 to the Sonoma Valley, on a 350-acre estate in the Carneros district. The Cline winery and vineyards are built on a foundation of deeply rooted respect for the land and love of winemaking. Recognized for its rich portfolio of wines, Cline is one of the pioneers of California’s Rhone Rangers movement, and the largest holder of 100+ year-old-vine vineyards in California.
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.
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.
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.
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.