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Flat front label of wine

Robert Biale Vineyards Rocky Ridge Vineyard Zinfandel 2009

Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
  • WS90
15.7% ABV
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15.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This tremendous blend of the best lots of several vineyards exemplifies the exciting new wave of Petite Sirah that has captured wine geeks' full attention. This wine has notes of blueberry, currant liqueur, intense black fruit.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Dense, ripe and tightly wound, but well-structured, offering wild berry and pepper aromas that lead to layered flavors of plum, licorice and spicy oak. Tannins tighten the finish. Needs time. Drink now through 2016.
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Robert Biale Vineyards

Robert Biale Vineyards

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Robert Biale Vineyards, Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
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The Biale Zinfandel tradition began in the 1930's when Pietro Biale, an immigrant from Genoa, began planting Zinfandel (a variety we now know is from Croatia and a favorite of pioneer California winemakers) on his farm in the town of Napa in 1937.

Since that first commercial vintage in 1991 the winery has created a series of a dozen small-vineyard Zinfandels from other historic family vineyards in Napa and Sonoma and, under the direction of new winemaker Steve Hall, has become regarded by collectors, "Zin geeks", authors, wine writers, and sommeliers as among the very finest and most sought after producers of Zinfandel - being dubbed in 2010 by Wine Spectator as Zinfandel Grand Masters. The experts concur: Biale, along with a few select producers, has elevated California Zinfandel to that of internationally recognized status.

Rockpile

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High elevation vineyards—800 to 2,100 feet—on well-drained soils of red and brown clay loam, gravel and large rock outcroppings produce low yields of intense, high-quality fruit. Surrounded by Northern Sonoma County and overlapping Dry Creek Valley in its northwest corner, the Rockpile AVA produces some of California most powerful Zinfandel, Petit Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon based wines.

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.

DRSROCKYR_2009 Item# 122707