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Haraszthy Family Cellars Bearitage Old Vine Zinfandel 2013

Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    14.8% ABV
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    14.8% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    This wine is medium bodied, beautifully balanced and displaying noteworthy red and black fruit aromas. Blackberry, raspberry and cherry flavors are complemented by the attractive texture of the tannins that provide an appealing texture.

    This wine is an excellent complement to grilled meats, fish, or chicken dishes.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Haraszthy Family Cellars

    Haraszthy Family Cellars

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    Haraszthy Family Cellars, Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    The Haraszthy family has been in the wine business in Sonoma for six generations. Today, Haraszthy Family Cellars specializes exclusively in the production of hand crafted Zinfandels.

    Solus Sto is Latin for "Stand Alone." It has been the Haraszthy Family Motto for many generations and served the family as a guiding winemaking directive. During their lives in Hungary, the Haraszthy's financial health was tied directly to the health of their vines. Funny how some things don’t change much. Solus Sto was passed down to each generation and spoke to the power of regular visits to each vine in the vineyard – this being truly the best fertilizer. It was important to biologically commune – to inspect the plants and to absorb their vibrations. Solus Sto was insurance against a bad crop.

    Today's grape growers utilize state of the art vineyard management techniques and scientific modern advances developed to help maximize quality and production. This is why wine quality has improved in our day. But back then in Hungary it was old school and stood alone. To all its friends, Haraszthy Family Cellars continues to embrace Gypsy based viticultural practices. And yes, they also solute the tremendous strides science and technology have provided us as well. Haraszthy Family Cellars stands alone behind Zinfandel and produces no other grape variety.

    As the lower part of the greater Sierra Foothills appellation, Amador is roughly a plateau whose vineyards grow at 1,200 to 2,000 feet in elevation. It is 100 miles east of both San Francisco and Napa Valley. Most of its wineries are in the oak-studded rolling hillsides of Shenandoah Valley or east in Fiddletown, where elevations are slightly higher.

    The Sierra Foothills growing area was among the largest wine producers in the state during the gold rush of the late 1800s. The local wine industry enjoyed great success until just after the turn of the century when fortune-seekers moved elsewhere and its population diminished. With Prohibition, winemaking was totally abandoned, along with its vineyards. But some of these, especially Zinfandel, still remain and are the treasure chest of the Sierra Foothills as we know them.

    Most Amador vines are planted in volcanic soils derived primarily from sandy clay loam and decomposed granite. Summer days are hot but nighttime temperatures typically drop 30 degrees and the humidity is low, making this an ideal environment for grape growing. Because there is adequate rain throughout the year and even snow in the winter, dry farming is possible.

    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.

    OPI35641_2013 Item# 143208