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Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel 2014

Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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14.5% ABV
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4.2 19 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

During harvest, their Old Vine Zinfandel lots always show a distinct aroma and flavor profile. Once bottled, the perfumed nuances and dried herbal components shine through. At first swirl, bay leaf and white pepper leap from the glass balanced by deep layers of plum and cocoa. The complexity of our Old Vine Zinfandel lies in the spicy notes that are unique to these historic properties. Refined and balanced, the wine integrates seamlessly on the palate offering a broad array of currants, black cherry, raspberry and toasty oak notes.

Blend: 78% Zinfandel, 19% Petite Sirah, 3% Carignane

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
Tim Bell made this 2014 primarily from four centenarian vineyards, including Beeson Ranch, a relatively cool east-facing site planted against Dry Creek's western hills. This seems to draw quite a bit of its character from the Petite Sirah component of the blend, which mostly comes from Beeson's old vines - the oldest date to the 1880's. The result is a Zin with a tooth-staining purple color, the structure firm and tannic. It's cool rather than jammy, maybe because the dry, early vintage was untouched by any blistering heat waves, maybe because the old dry farmed vines tempered the effects of the drought. The intense blue fruit - wild blueberry amplified by juniper and cassis - seems to want to explode into sunny juiciness, yet feels pulled back by the soil-scented cool of the tannins. This feels fresh, intense and balanced to age - cellar a case to watch it evolve over the next two decades.
WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
From one of my favorite Zin producers, the 2014 Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel tastes seriously good. The wine's bright red berries and tangy and pleasing. Pair with roast pork accented with a savory wine reduction. (Tasted: April 14, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Blended with 19% Petite Sirah and 3% Carignane, from vines averaging 50-plus-years of age, this is a bold and brambly wine, laced in elegance. Coffee, leather and a taste of caramel are seasoned in allspice and black pepper, as persistent, sinewy tannins provide weight and heft.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Appealingly briary, with floral raspberry and pepper aromas, and zesty, well-focused black cherry, licorice and underbrush flavors. Drink now through 2025.
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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. 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 phenolic ripeness and balance. 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.

Zinfandel reigns supreme here and still produces in a great number of very old vineyards—often 100 years old or older. These old vines create a powerful, voluptuous and sultry wine unlike those of any other region. Sauvignon Blanc, the valley’s signature white grape, also performs exceptionally well. Many other varieties grow comfortably here, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Syrah. Petite Sirah is often found in blends with Zinfandel.

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 importation to New England by George Gibbs, probably in 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.

WWH144155_2014 Item# 171352