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Gnekow Family Winery Campus Oaks Old Vine Zinfandel 2011

Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    14.5% ABV
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    14.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The color is deep royal red. The nose is redolent with rich cherry, red and black fruits. On the palate jammy raspberry, blackberry and cherry predominate. The finish is rich, and silky with soft spices all wrapped with a nice blanket of vanilla.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Gnekow Family Winery

    Gnekow Family Winery

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    Gnekow Family Winery, Lodi, California
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    Gnekow Family Winery (pronounced "nee-ko") was founded upon two essential principles; first – handcraft quality wines that represent exceptional values by applying Old and New World winemaking techniques to the grapes from our distinctive region and second – create wines that would be fun and exciting! Our state-of-the-art winery is located in Collegeville, California about an hour from the Napa Valley, in the rolling hills between San Francisco and Yosemite, not far from Mondavi-Woodbridge.

    Our Signature Wine, the Campus Oaks "Old Vine" Zinfandel, is selectively chosen from our 80+ year old vineyards and has consistently won Gold Medals every year since it’s initial harvest in 1997. In 2004, we introduced our Reserve Old Vine, which features the graduation of our quality Old Vine Zinfandels to higher award winning levels.

    Positioned between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Lodi appellation, while relatively far inland, is able to maintain a classic Mediterranean climate featuring warm, sunny days and cool evenings. This is because the appellation is uniquely situated at the end of the Sacramento River Delta, which brings chilly, afternoon “delta breezes” to the area during the growing season.

    Lodi is a premier source of 100+ year old ancient Zinfandel vineyards—some dating back as far as 1888! With low yields of small berries, these heritage vines produce complex and bold wines, concentrated in rich and voluptuous, dark fruit.

    But Lodi doesn’t just produce Zinfandel; in fact, the appellation produces high quality wines from over 100 different grape varieties. Among them are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc as well as some of California's more rare and unique grapes. Lodi is recognized as an ideal spot for growing Spanish varieties like Albarino and Tempranillo, Portugese varieties—namely Touriga Nacional—as well as many German, Italian and French varieties.

    Soil types vary widely among Lodi’s seven sub-appellations (Cosumnes River, Alta Mesa, Deer Creek Hills, Borden Ranch, Jahant, Clements Hills and Mokelumne River). The eastern hills are clay-based and rocky and in the west, along the Mokelumne and Cosumnes Rivers, sandy and mineral-heavy soils support the majority of Lodi’s century-old own-rooted Zinfandel vineyards. Unique to Lodi are pink Rocklin-Jahant loam soils, mainly found in the Jahant sub-appellation.

    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.

    EPC26943_2011 Item# 137590