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Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2006
Winemaker Notes The grapes for this wine were crushed and fermented warm, pumping juice from the tank bottom over the cap of floating skins on a regular basis for maximum color and flavor extraction. The wine was pressed off the skins and racked to 60 gallon French and American oak barrels. The wine was barrel aged for a total of 18 months. The wine exhibits black fruit flavors and fresh ground pepper notes. Its Dry Creek pedigree shows in its supple mouth filling qualities and its lingering finish.
Rich flavors make this hearty 2006 Lake Sonoma Dry Creek Zinfandel able to stand up to charcoal grilled or spicy foods such as venison, lamb, your favorite grilled steak and penne arrabiata.
Lake Sonoma Winery focuses on the individual appellations in Northern Sonoma County where California’s top grape varieties achieve their ultimate expression of character. Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc come from Dry Creek Valley, where gravelly soils and a climate of warm days and cool nights produce intense fruit and impressive balance. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are grown in the very cool, often foggy Russian River Valley, where they develop rich, crisp character. Cabernet Sauvignon is drawn from Alexander Valley, where fertile soils and very warm climate result in mouthfilling character and smooth texture. The intrinsic excellence of these regions is enhanced by sustainable farming techniques in the vineyards, which uses natural amendments and controls to enrich the soil and combat pests.
To preserve and complement the extraordinary character of these grapes, Lake Sonoma Winery meticulously handcrafts each wine. Vineyard lots are kept separate until blending and aging in small oak barrels is tailored to each individual wine. Lake Sonoma Winery produces less than 25,000 cases annually, but every Lake Sonoma wine – through its bold flavors and intriguing complexity - makes a statement.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
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.