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Hobo Wine Company Rockpile Branham Vineyard Zinfandel 2015

Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
  • WW94
  • W&S93
12.8% ABV
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3.3 8 Ratings
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3.3 8 Ratings
12.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Rockpile’s weather is often the inverse of the Dry Creek Valley. When it is foggy in the valley, it is sunny and warm at Rockpile. When it is hot below, it can be cool and windy in the mountains. 2015 was another warm year and the harvest was early again. As had become custom, the old vine block, the Dempel/Dupratt block, and the Petite Sirah were harvested on the same day allowing to co-ferment the entire wine. The Petite Sirah, harvested on the early and green side contributes structure, earthiness, and pepperiness to the riper full fruit of the Zinfandel. Co-fermenting leads to a wine that is ultimately more knit together.

Blend: 85% Rockpile Zinfandel, 7% Gary Branham's Vineyard Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah

Critical Acclaim

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WW 94
Wilfred Wong of
COMMENTARY: For Zinfandel aficionados, the Rockpile AVA—in the northwest corner of the Dry Creek Valley and established on April 29, 2002—is almost always on the short list of one of California's best growing areas for this grape variety. The 2015 Hobo Wine Company Branham Vineyard is an outstanding example of why this is so true. TASTING NOTES: This wine is bright, brambly, and perfectly balanced on the palate. Its aromas and flavors of ripe raspberries should make it a lovely match with a roast tenderloin of pork accented with a fruit compote. (Tasted: September 25, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Bristling with energy, this wine gains its edge from a cofermentation of fruit from old zinfandel vines and a little petite sirah harvested at the same time, which puts it on the early side of ripeness. Kenny Likitprakong fermented it with 30 percent whole clusters and without added yeasts, then aged it in French oak puncheons. That oak mellowed the wine toward supple fruitiness, with umami notes of forest mushrooms and tart cherries, but the emphasis is on rocks, sage brush and high-elevation chaparral. Best Buy.
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Hobo Wine Company

Hobo Wine Company

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Hobo Wine Company, California
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Since beginning in 2002, The Hobo Wine Company has been a family owned and independently operated winery. In 2013, they converted an old warehouse in the historic Roseland neighborhood of Santa Rosa to be their production facility. This move allows them complete independence and full control over our winemaking and production.

Stylistically, Hobo Wine Company makes artisanally crafted wines of integrity and charm that respect their role at the table. This means they are true to character and origin, generally moderate in alcohol, and noticeable in acidity. The wines are made without commercial yeast or malolactic bacteria or other commercial additives and sulfur levels are always kept to a minimum. There is a small tasting room at the winery, which is run on 100% local renewable energy, and they welcome visitors from around the world.

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High elevation vineyards—800 to 2,100 feet—on well-drained soils of red and brown clay loam, gravel and large rock outcroppings produce low yields of intense, high-quality fruit. Surrounded by Northern Sonoma County and overlapping Dry Creek Valley in its northwest corner, the Rockpile AVA produces some of California most powerful Zinfandel, Petit Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon based wines.

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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 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.

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.

RVLHB15ZNRP_2015 Item# 343244