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Hartford Highwire Vineyard Zinfandel 2016

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  • JD97
  • WS94
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Hartford Zinfandel Highwire Vineyard has a medium to deep garnet-purple color. Wow—the nose is a knock-out beauty of black cherry cordial, blueberry compote, fruitcake and liquid licorice with hints of roses, lilacs, Indian spices and garrigue. Full-bodied and beautifully structured with firm, grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, the palate is generously filled with fruit and spice layers, finishing long and perfumed.
JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Zinfandel Highwire Vineyard is drop dead gorgeous! Black raspberries, potpourri, toasty oak, and cedar characteristics all soar from the glass. While it seems masculine and a little backward on the nose, this beauty hits the palate with awesome purity and elegance, fine tannin, no hard edges, and a beautiful finish. It has acidity, it has tannin, it has balance, and everything else I was looking for. It’s one of the top Zinfandels in the vintage!
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Combines power and polish, offering a deep and complex structure along with rich and refined raspberry, loamy mineral and herbes des Provence flavors that linger on the finish. Drink now through 2026.
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Hartford

Hartford

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Hartford, California
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Hartford Family Winery was founded in 1993 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford's appreciation for the wines, the people, and the unique vineyards near their Russian River Valley home. Located in the Sonoma County town of Forestville, the winery is about 15 miles from the cool Pacific Coast.

Making delicious wines of high personality is directly related to the difficult locations of the Hartford family's vineyard sources, the limited production of their bottlings and the varietals they use. "Character through adversity" is an expression that the Hartford family believes to apply to both people and grapevines, and they feel that surviving adversity builds character, and personality, in both. The Hartford Family makes wines under two marks, Hartford Court and Hartford.

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

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Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. In 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 journey to New England, carried by George Gibbs circa 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit.

Tasting Notes for Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a dry red wine, though typically forward in fruit. Notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice are common. Very ripe examples may express a dried fruit quakity like fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often shows red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics like juniper and menthol.

Perfect Food Pairings for Zinfandel

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 Secrets for Zinfandel

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.

RGL3001685_2016 Item# 422486

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