Novy Russian River Zinfandel 2016
The Novy Russian River Valley Zinfandel is a reflection of the quality of the vineyards selected to comprise this wine. This Zin comes almost exclusively from the Jensen Lane Vineyard (planted in 1915, the Limerick Lane Vineyard (planted in 1910), and the Carlisle Vineyard (planted in 1927). These older vine vineyards contribute exceptional fruit quality and concentration, while their Russian River Valley locations translates to bright, crisp acidity making for a Zinfandel that is both lively and extremely well-balanced. With lively cranberry fruit, this wine smells like the essence of Zinfandel. On the palate, it continues to be a lively wine (great acidity being one of the best attributes of the Russian River Valley), with loads of vibrant fruit, a wonderful mid-palate that fans out on an expansive finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Zinfandel Russian River Valley offers up incredibly evocative notes of baked raspberries, blueberry pie and plum preserves with touches of Indian spices and fruit cake. Full-bodied and packed with plushly textured, spicy fruit, it finishes on a delicious spice cake note. 20,232 cases were made.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. 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, farther 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.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. In 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.
Tasting Notes for Zinfandel
Zinfandel is a dry red wine, though typically forward in fruit. Notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice are common. Very ripe examples may express a dried fruit quakity like fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often shows red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics like juniper and menthol.
Perfect Food Pairings for Zinfandel
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 Secrets for Zinfandel
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.