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Lava Cap Reserve Zinfandel 2014

Zinfandel from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
    15.8% ABV
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    15.8% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Enters with subtle notes of briar and spice which quickly give way to aromas of raspberry liqueur. This robust Zinfandel offers layers of blackberry and black cherry fruit. A warm, luscious finish lingers on with sweet vanilla oak flavors.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Lava Cap

    Lava Cap

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    Lava Cap, El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
    Lava Cap is a small, family owned and operated winery dedicated to the production of premium estate bottled wines utilizing only mountain grown grapes. The winery is located high in the Sierra Nevada foothills in the heart of the Apple Hill region of El Dorado County. Our elevation - close to 3,000 feet - is about the maximum permissible for growing grapes due to the prevalence of intense periods of frost during early Spring months. Lava Cap was established in 1981 with the purchase of a 65 acre pear ranch that dated back to the 1860's. This property, perched high above the deep canyon of the South Fork of the American River (not far from where gold was first discovered in 1848) at an elevation of 2,400 to 2,800 feet, is blessed with an abundance of water, excellent soil, and varied sun exposure. In 1990, an adjoining 18 acre orchard was purchased to allow for future expansion of our vineyards, and in 1996, the well known Granite Hill vineyard, famous for Petite Sirah, was added in partnership. We now have over 130 acres of prime vineyard land in production or awaiting vineyard development.

    El Dorado

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    As home to California’s highest altitude vineyards, El Dorado is also one of its oldest wine growing regions. When gold miners settled here in the late 1800s, many also planted vineyards and made wine to quench its local demand.

    By 1870, El Dorado County, as part of the greater Sierra Foothills growing area, was among the largest wine producers in the state, behind only Los Angeles and Sonoma counties. The local wine industry enjoyed great success until just after the turn of the century when fortune-seekers moved elsewhere and its population diminished. With Prohibition, winemaking was totally abandoned, along with its vineyards. Some of these vines still exist today and are the treasure chest of the Sierra Foothills as we know them.

    El Dorado has a diverse terrain with elevations ranging from 1,200 to 3,500 feet, creating countless mesoclimates for its vineyards. This diversity allows success with a wide range of grapes including whites like Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as for reds, Grenache, Syrah, Tempranillo, Barbera and especially, Zinfandel.

    Soils tend to be fine-grained volcanic rock, shale and decomposed granite. Summer days are hot but nights are cool and the area typically gets ample precipitation in the form or rain, or snow in the winter.

    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.

    WWH143405_2014 Item# 175198