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Flat front label of wine

Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel 2012

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

Winemaker Notes

With a near perfect growing season, the 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel displays an elegant structure and classic varietal character that defines what great Zinfandel is all about. Moderate temperatures throughout the season allowed us to harvest perfectly ripened Zinfandel clusters from historic pre-Prohibition vines in the Dry Creek Valley. The aromatics are dense and dark with ripe boysenberry fruit and Zin's intrinsic briary spiciness. On the palate, the wine is seamless and complex with succulent flavors of blackberry, blueberry and raspberry along with a complex spicy undertone. These low yielding vines preserve the vibrant acidity and balanced tannins in the grapes leading to a long and persistent finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 91
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
A real banker, the 2012 Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel makes it clear that it is an authentic Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. Brambly in the aromas and in the flavors, with an explosion of berries and an accent of chalk and sweet earth. This wine is so real that it can be legitimately called an ambassador to the AVA. Firm in the finish, I can see this one with a savory, rosemary accented roast of pork. (Best Served: 2014-2019)
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Zesty in black pepper and luscious in blackberry, blueberry and raspberry, the grapes are from 90-plus-year-old hillside vines. Complex and structured, it offers a balanced point of view and plenty of intrigue, simultaneously fresh and brooding.Editors' Choice
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Zinfandel Old Vine (over 90 years in age) includes 23% Petite Sirah. Always a winner, this full-throttle, full-bodied wine is dark plum in color, with spicy blackberry and raspberry notes intermingled with pepper and bouquet garni. The finish is long and heady. Anticipated maturity: now-2021.
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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.

PIN363499_2012 Item# 135783