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Frei Brothers Reserve Dry Creek Zinfandel 2013

Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
  • WS89
  • RP88
15.1% ABV
  • TP92
  • RP89
  • RP90
  • RP90
  • RP90
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15.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

An exemplary expression of the Dry Creek Valley, this well-structured Zinfandel opens with notes of ripe, black cherry and raspberry jam. Rich mocha and caramel flavors meld with a touch of cedar and spice on the palate, culminating in a lingering, fruit-filled finish.

Varietal Content: 94% Zinfandel, 6% Petite Sirah

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 89
Wine Spectator
A zesty red, with raspberry and licorice aromas and appealing, sleek flavors of bright cherry, toasted herb and fresh black pepper. Drink now through 2020.
RP 88
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
My favorite wine is their 2013 Zinfandel Reserve from Dry Creek Valley (a blend of 94% Zinfandel and 6% Petite Sirah). Dark ruby/purple-tinged with notes of licorice, road tar, black raspberry, black cherry and spice box. The wine is medium-bodied, chewy, fleshy, and has lots of glycerin and headiness. The finished natural alcohol is 15.1% and the wine was aged eight months in about 20% new American oak and the balance neutral oak as well as a little bit of stainless steel.
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Frei Brothers

Frei Brothers

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Frei Brothers, Sonoma County, California
Image of winery
In the late 1880s, an enterprising Swiss immigrant by the name of Andrew Frei gazed upon the rolling hills, gentle streams, and fertile soil of Sonoma County and saw a wine glass of opportunity. By 1890, he was the proud owner of a 344 acre vineyard in northern Sonoma, giving birth to a winemaking tradition that is very much alive today.

Frei didn't waste any precious time once he acquired the land. By 1895, he was producing 20,000 cases of high quality wine that was stored in huge redwood casks.

In spite of a devastating blight of phylloxera, by 1904 the winery had actually increased in size and production. Now in his seventies, Frei turned the business over to his two sons, Walter and Louis. In 1903, the winery was officially named Frei Bros.

The Frei Bros. Winery continued to grow over the years, in spite of disasters such as the one that occurred in 1919, when a curious piece of legislation that came to be known as Prohibition put many an American winery out of business.

Again, the Frei family persevered, and now you can taste the legacy of a great winemaking tradition in Frei Brothers Reserve, a new release that combines the spirit of old world winemaking techniques with grapes that are hand selected from some of Sonoma's finest vineyards.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

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.

WWH135800_2013 Item# 138732