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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel 2011

Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • WE91
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
  • W&S94
  • WE92
  • WW92
  • WS90
  • WE93
  • WW92
  • CG90
  • WS90
  • WE91
  • WW91
  • RP90
  • WE91
  • WE92
  • WE90
  • WE91
  • WE90
  • WE93
  • W&S91
  • RP90
  • RP90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This prized and historic wine presents a special aroma and flavor profile that is distinctive to the Dry Creek Valley appellation. Black and white pepper, dried flowers, potpourri, and bright cherry elements immediately arise from the glass. After several minutes of airing, the wine reveals layers of blackberry and raspberry fruit along with exotic spices. On the palate, the wine is rich and well-balanced with black raspberry, wild cherry, and brambly fruit. Several more sips reveal a bright earthy quality that is truly unique and distinctive. This is a wine that is seamless and well integrated from start to finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This is so bold and rich, it could stop a tsunami of barbacue sauce and a herd of galloping babyback ribs. They say the age of the vines is between 90–110 years. This wine is sheer lusciousness, with flavors of wild blackberries, cola and plums, along with a blueberry jam and black pepper finish.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Zinfandel Old Vine (over 90 years of age) is an impressive effort for the vintage. It offers a deep ruby/purple hue along with lots of clean, pure black cherry and blackberry fruit, spicy oak, earth and spice box notes. A blend of 83% Zinfandel and 17% Petite Sirah that tips the scales at 14.5% natural alcohol, this attractive Zin can be drunk over the next 3-4 years.
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Dry Creek Vineyard

Dry Creek Vineyard

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Dry Creek Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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Established in 1972 by David S Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard is Dry Creek Valley’s flagship winery located in the heart of Sonoma County, California. This premier family owned winery is celebrating 46 years of winemaking and is led by the second generation. Founder David Stare’s daughter, Kim Stare Wallace, serves as President overseeing a successful family winemaking and grape growing business that includes 185 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards. Named one of the Top 100 wineries of 2015 by Wine & Spirits Magazine and a Top 10 Tasting Room by USATODAY, the winery is also 100% Certified Sustainable. Dry Creek Vineyard proudly produces delicious Dry Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Meritage blends as well as a portfolio of single vineyard selections.

The origins of our nautical themed labels are purely personal. We have enjoyed a long love affair with the sport of sailing and have a profound appreciation of America’s nautical heritage. Combining two passions, we were inspired to use the sailing ship theme on our wine labels. In 1982, when the original idea was unveiled, it was seen as a rather daring and risky move. More than 30 years later, the sailing ships that adorn our wine bottles are easily identifiable and recognized by consumers around the world. Since the beginning, Sonoma County artist Michael Surles has provided the beautiful paintings for our labels. Using a variety of mediums from watercolor to richly hued oils, Surles captures the spirit of the high seas.

Dry Creek Valley

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A multifaceted and highly reputable sub-region of Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley is responsible for a wide range of wine styles both red and white. The warm and welcoming appellation is home to a number of family-owned vineyards and wineries that place a strong emphasis on sustainable farming practices. One of the smallest AVAs in California, Dry Creek Valley has a winning combination of ideal geography and climate. Fertile, well-drained soils create concentrated varietal character while long, warm days bookended by cool nights allow grapes to reach full ripeness while retaining acidity and balance.

Zinfandel reigns supreme here, often grown on vines aged 35 to 100 or older, taking on a powerful, voluptuous character favored by fans of the variety. Sauvignon Blanc, the valley’s signature white grape, also performs exceptionally well. Many other varieties grow comfortably here, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Rhône varieties, and Italian varieties. Petite Sirah and Carignan are commonly blended with 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.

SOU346265_2011 Item# 126867