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Pietra Santa Zinfandel 2009

Zinfandel from Cienega Valley, Central Coast, California
    14.7% ABV
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    14.7% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    This wine is made from the oldest grapes on their estate, some of which were planted in 1905. A long growing season combined with the age of the vines has produced a complex wine that has an interesting bouquet of lavender, loads of juicy berries and a bold peppery finish that lingers in the back of the mouth. Additional cellar time will allow this wine time to fully develop and will round out the finish. Pair with your favorite grilled ribs.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Pietra Santa

    Pietra Santa

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    Pietra Santa, Cienega Valley, Central Coast, California
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    Situated eight miles south of Hollister and twenty-five miles east of Monterey Bay in San Benito County, the estate vineyard is cradled in its own private valley, whose unique combination of soil, climate and geography produces grapes and wine of uncommon character, Cienega Valley became wine country in 1850, when Frenchman Theophile Vache planted the region's first vineyards When Joseph Gimelli purchased the 455 acres surrounding the Dickinson house in 1989, the adjacent vineyards had not been tended for three years and were overrun by wild boar. Gimelli planted nearly 100 acres to Merlot, Sangiovese and Dolcetto, preserving only a one-acre block of Zinfandel and ten acres of Cabernet Sauvignon from previous plantings. Pietra Santa (named by Gimelli for the unusual limestone and granite soils) harvested its first vintage in 1992, under the supervision of Winemaker Alessio Carli, whose broad winemaking experience in Tuscany complements the estate's focus on Italian grape varieties. The first wines from Pietra Santa were released in 1994.

    Cienega Valley

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    Part of the larger Central Coast AVA, the valley was historically an important source of grapes for Almaden Vineyards before it was acquired by Constellation Brands in the 1980s. At 1,100 feet, the San Andreas Fault divides the valley so that one side is granite and sandstone, and the other is granite and limestone.

    Zinfandel

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    Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. And it 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 County, 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 specimen of the vine and acted as the source of its importation to New England by George Gibbs, probably in 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit.

    In the Glass

    Zinfandel commonly expresses powerful notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often expresses red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics of juniper and menthol.

    Perfect Pairings

    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 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, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex.

    EPC25357_2009 Item# 137579