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Hartford Russian River Zinfandel 2003

Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • RP93
0% ABV
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • WS92
  • RP90
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

This is the fifth vintage of our wildly popular Russian River Valley AVA Zinfandel. This old-vine Zin provides alluring aromas of blackberry, sweet pipe tobacco, black pepper and anise complemented by flavors reminiscent of fresh baked, blackberry pie with allspice, anise and caramel notes on the finish. Stunningly rich and concentrated, our 2003 Russian River Valley Zinfandel has incredible definition of fruit and sweet luscious tannins. To preserve the exotic spice and sweet berry flavors, this wine was neither fined nor filtered.

Acclaim
93 Points - "...is a great effort for the price. Made from various vineyards, all averaging 80 years of age, it exhibits a sexy, up-front, respberry, blackbery, and spice box-scented perfume, huge body, a peppery component, and a large, seductive, luscious finish with no hard edges." - Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, February 2005

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Hartford

Hartford

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Hartford, Russian River, Sonoma County, 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.

Russian River

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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 which flows through the region. 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, further 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.

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.

RGL3000387_2003 Item# 81505