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Joullian Sias Cuvee Zinfandel 2012
Salmon with dill, thai green curry, carnitas, Mediterranean lamb - plus your basic roast pork, beef and chicken.The bright red fruit and crisp acidity in this Zin make the perfect "ethnic food" wine.
Early in 1982, Joullian Vineyards, Ltd. purchased 655 acres of hillside benchland at an elevation of 1400 feet, in the heart of the remote Carmel Valley viticulture appellation. Following extensive contouring and terracing, 40 acres of high density-spaced vines were planted in the rocky Arroyo Seco series loam. The planting emphasized Bordeaux varieties and allocated two-thirds of the vineyard to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon... plus Carmel Valley’s first Zinfandel, which was personally planted by Dick Sias. The remaining acreage, originally planted to Chardonnay, was grafted to more pre-Prohibition Zinfandel selections throughout the 1990s. Pursuing complexity in the wines, Watson planted multiple clones of each varietal from reputed sources such as Mount Veeder, 3 Palms, Diamond Mountain, Sterling, Ventana, Brandlin, St. Peter’s Church and Lytton springs. The Winery, completed in the spring of 1991, was designed to handle each vineyard block separately to insure that the complex subtleties and nuances produced in the field could be transferred into the bottle.
In 2015, Joullian Vineyards, Ltd. was acquired by the Hammler Wine Corporation. Owned by husband-and-wife team Tom and Jane Lerum, Hammler Wine Corporation is committed to carrying on the legacy of the Joullian brand and will continue to focus on crafting exceptional wines. With strong ties to both Oklahoma and California, the Lerums plan to build upon Joullian’s historical success and ensure its sustainability for generations to come.
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.
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.
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.