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D-Cubed Cellars Black Sears Howell Mountain Zinfandel 2010

Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    14.6% ABV
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    14.6% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The 2010 Howell Mountain Zinfandel is from Black Sears Vineyard which is at 2400 ft. Elevation. The altitude and unique soils of Howell Mountain help to create intense and complex wines This Zinfandel jumps out of the glass with notes of blackberries and pepper. These are compounded with aromas of plums, sage and a hint of oak. This full bodied wine has flavors of berries, plum, white pepper with hints of herbs and toasty oak. The richness and intensity lingers on the tongue through the long smooth berry finish

    Critical Acclaim

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    D-Cubed Cellars

    D-Cubed Cellars

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    D-Cubed Cellars, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    D-cubed Cellars started in 1994 with the Howell Mountain Zinfandel made grapes grown at the Black Sears Vineyard. In 2010 D-cubed Cellars was called a Top Artisan Winery by Wine and Spirits Magazine, a wonderful honor.

    2010 was a long cool vintage. The grape ripened evenly, but was later than usual. As the season stretched out the worry of rain on the thin skinned Zinfandel became greater and greater. We harvested our Zinfandel before any real significant rain hit them and the grapes developed the wonderful fruit of the terrior from each vineyard.

    Howell Mountain

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    Today Cabernet Sauvignon is the star of this part of Napa’s rugged, eastern hills, but Zinfandel was responsible for giving the Howell Mountain growing area its original fame in the late 1800s.

    Winemaking in Howell Mountain was abandoned during Prohibition, and wasn’t reawakened until the arrival of Randy Dunn, a talented winemaker famous for the success of Caymus in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early eighties, he set his sights on the Napa hills and subsequently astonished the wine world with a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Shortly thereafter Howell Mountain became officially recognized as the first sub-region of Napa Valley (1983).

    With vineyards at 1,400 to 2,000 feet in elevation, they predominantly sit above the fog line but the days in Howell Mountain remain cooler than those in the heart of the valley, giving the grapes a bit more time on the vine.

    The Howell Mountain AVA includes 1,000 acres of vineyards interspersed by forestlands in the Vaca Mountains. The soils, shallow and infertile with good drainage, are volcanic ash and red clay and produce highly concentrated berries with thick skins. The resulting wines are full of structure and potential to age.

    Today Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah thrive in this sub-appellation, as well as its founding variety, Zinfandel.

    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.

    DCBDCUBBS10ZN_2010 Item# 144256