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Saucelito Canyon Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2012

Zinfandel from Arroyo Grande Valley, Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The Zinfandel Reserve is a limited-production selection from the estate vineyard, chosen from barrels that exhibit a level of intensity and quality that befit a showcase bottling from each vintage. The House Block of the estate vineyard, which is half planted to the original Saucelito Canyon old-vine clone, typically serves as the backbone of the Zinfandel Reserve. This wine is a great match for seared flank steak with herbed butter, barbecue chipotle chicken and chocolate-ginger spice cake.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Saucelito Canyon

    Saucelito Canyon Vineyard

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    Saucelito Canyon Vineyard, Arroyo Grande Valley, Central Coast, California
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    Nestled in the rugged terrain of the upper Arroyo Grande Valley, Saucelito Canyon Vineyard specializes in estate-grown Zinfandel crafted from old vines planted in 1880. A passion for traditional hands-on winemaking ensures that each wine represents an authentic expression of the estate vineyard and its unique microclimate.

    Arroyo Grande Valley

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    One of the coolest growing areas in California, the Arroyo Grande Valley runs northeast to southwest just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean and is part of the Central Coast AVA. Situated in such a way that cold Pacific Ocean air and fog is allowed to filter into the valley, Arroyo Grande also has an incredibly long growing season. Bud break occurs in February in most years with flowering in May and harvest in late September; the area is classified as cool Mediterranean.

    These weather factors combined with the soil types—continental and marine rocks, greywacke, limestone, shale and volcanic—create wines with great concentration and fresh acidity. The cooler end of the valley is perfect for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and is a good producer of sparkling wines. The warmer, more inland part of the valley is home to some of California’s oldest Zinfandel vines.

    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.

    HNYSCNZLR12C_2012 Item# 144046