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Cline Big Break Zinfandel 2012

Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
  • WE92
15% ABV
Other Vintages
  • WS88
  • CG88
  • WS89
  • WS90
  • W&S91
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Eucalyptus mint, firm structure and exotic spice are key elements in the Big Break Zinfandel. This vintage oozes with power, revealing crisp strawberries, exotic spice and toasted oak.

Big Break Zinfandel holds a distinct dusty berry characteristic (reminiscent of picking wild black berries in the hot summer sun), what Cline affectionately describes as their "Oakley terroir."

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
This big but well-behaved wine brings out the pure deliciousness of the grapes. It smells perfectly ripe without being sweet or jammy, feels very elegant and rich, and tastes like blackberry-boysenberry juice. It's just tannic enough for balance, and the polished fruitiness continues through the finish.
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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.

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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.

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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 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.

CGM29339_2012 Item# 138760