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Sbragia Gino's Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012

Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP90
  • TP90
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Try the 2013 Vintage 24 99
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Winemaker Notes

Named after my dad, this 55-year old vineyard is five acres in size and has a very special place in my heart. Located on a rocky hillside bench on the eastern side of Dry Creek, it's the place I used to play as a child, and where my son Adam was first introduced to viticulture. The selection of Zinfandel, Carignane and Petite Sirah grown in Gino's Vineyard represents a traditional field blend my Father made each year.

Full of lush ripe red fruit. It has a core of sweet red currant and strawberry. Good acidity and a bright finish make this a great match for many foods.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
The Wine Advocate

Zinfandel is one of Sbragia’s specialties and the three I tasted, all from the 2012 vintage, merit mention. The outstanding 2012 Zinfandel Gino’s reveals a dark ruby color, and copious notes of briary, raspberry and black cherry fruit intermixed with notions of earth, pepper, roasted meats, and Provençal herbs. Medium to full-bodied and luscious, it is best drunk over the next 3-4 years.

TP 90
Tasting Panel

Dense and spicy with earth, ripe berries and tangy acidity; smooth, rich and balanced.

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Sbragia

Sbragia Family Vineyards

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Sbragia Family Vineyards, , California
Sbragia
As the master winemaker at the famed Beringer winery in Napa for over 32 years, Ed Sbragia has made wine from every great vineyard in Northern California. Sbragia Family Vineyards is a dream Ed has had for many years, a small, family-owned winery making limited lots of wine from blocks of his favorite grapes, including his family's own Dry Creek vineyards. With his son Adam, Ed also focuses on extremely small production wines from spectacular sites, such as this 2005 Rancho Del Oso Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.

Home to some of the world’s finest and longest-lived sweet and dry white wines, the Mosel is a region of Germany formerly known as Mosel-Saar-Ruwer—named thusly for the three rivers that flow through its dramatic valleys. Geology, climate and topography are paramount here, and the wines produced communicate a distinct sense of place. In addition to being prized for their heat-retaining properties, slate-based soils lend a stony minerality to the wines, contributing to some of the most recognizable terroir in the world. Cool temperatures necessitate the use of the region’s rivers to reflect heat onto the vineyards, and the best wines are made from sites with south or southwest facing slopes to receive sufficient direct sunlight for ripening. The breathtakingly steep slopes that straddle the river banks cannot be worked by machine, contributing to a high cost of labor (and treacherous working conditions).

Riesling is by far the most important and prestigious grape of the Mosel, grown on approximately 60% of the region’s vineyard land—typically the sites that provide the best combination of sunlight, soil type, and altitude. These wines, dry or sweet, are distinguished by marked acidity, low alcohol, and intense flavors of wet stone, citrus, and stone fruit. With age, a pleasing aroma of petroleum often develops. The lesser plots are mainly planted with lower-maintenance but relatively neutral varieties like [Müller-Thurgau] and other German crosses, but Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) can perform quite well here.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

SOU378288_2012 Item# 108259

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