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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Outpost Howell Mountain Zinfandel 2009

Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
  • RP92
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • JD95
  • RP93
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • WE92
  • WS90
  • RP93
  • WS93
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This 2009 vintage performed extremely well. It showed its typical creamy texture almost immediately which usually takes a year or two to develop in bottle. Its brambly ripe fruit meshes seamlessly with the spice and white pepper which is the trademark of Howell Mountain. Beautifully dark in color the wine possesses balance throughout and finishes with silky fine grained tannins. This wine drinks remarkably well now but has the structure to last many years.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Black plums, black cherries, mint, new leather and licorice are some of the many notes that flow from the 2009 Zinfandel. This big, explosive Zinfandel is literally bursting with detail and varietal nuance. An extroverted, highly expressive finish rounds things out in style. Anticipated maturity: 2011.2015.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Burly and ripe, yet complex, offering loamy blackberry aromas and layered, jammy flavors of cherry and blueberry that show notes of licorice and caramel. Firm tannins sneak in on the finish. Drink now through 2018. 1,000 cases made.
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Outpost

Outpost

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Outpost, Napa Valley, California
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Outpost stands high atop Howell Mountain, purched 2200 feet above the floor of the Napa Valley. It was established in 1998 with the vision of making wines that reflect the place in which the fruit was grown. The vineyards are high altitude, with hard rocky red volcanic soil and sunny southwestern exposures. The wines currently being produced off the Outpost vineyards are Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Petite Sirah. They also produce a vineyard-designated wine from their other estate property, True Vineyards. This vineyard is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. The guiding principle of their winemaking program is to realize the full potential of their vineyards while creating wines with a true sense of place.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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.

SOU133688_2009 Item# 113576