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Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 2008

Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
  • CG93
  • W&S92
  • WE91
14.7% ABV
  • W&S92
  • W&S92
  • W&S94
  • CG91
  • RP90
  • W&S90
  • W&S96
  • CG95
  • W&S92
  • RP93
  • RP90
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14.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

An intriguing aroma of cloves and raspberries greets one on bringing a glass near. Savory, bright, pure flavors suffuse the palate in this unusually fine textured wine. Hints of stone fruits and minerals join the berries and spice. The finish is long, focused and layered. Altogether, it is an enticing example of the balance, flavor depth and virtually weightless intensity for which Storybook Mountain has been known for over 3 decades.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 93
Connoisseurs' Guide
Storybook Mountain Vineyard has always made solid, well-structured Zinfandels of singular style, and, as has been once again shown here, the wines exhibit deep and defined varietal fruit while pulling back from the brink of late-harvest overripeness. There is no chocolate here, no intimations of sweetness, just insistent blackberry fruit graced by a touch of sweet oak and complexing accents of briar and minerals. The wine is full and firm on the palate, and, if already impressive, it is a long way from showing its best.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
This grows at Jerry Sep's vineyard in the hills above Calistoga, where the morning sun ripens the fruit without turning it to raisins or jam. In 2008, the wine is bright, sappy and intense with plenty of youthful zest and powerful cherry drive. The tannins are meaty and chewy, with the sweetness to match venison stew and the savor to complement roast hedgehog mushrooms.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
A first rate Zinfandel, as rich as they come, brimming with intense mountain fruit flavors of blackberries, black currants and cola, with Zin’s black pepper and a savory taste of grilled Canadian bacon. Lush, smooth and tannic, it’s a beautiful wine to drink now with beef stew or even a coq au vin-style dish.
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Storybook Mountain

Storybook Mountain Vineyards

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Storybook Mountain Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
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Storybook Mountain is a winery totally dedicated to Zinfandel and has established a worldwide reputation for consistently high quality. The Zinfandel tradition began at Storybook Mountain in the early 1880s when its red clay-loam hillsides in the Mayacamas Range were first planted to this varietal. Here, the perfect match of estate and grape allows Zinfandel to show its true potential. Storybook Mountain's sought-after estate wines are carefully hand-crafted from choice grapes grown without the use of insecticides or herbicides. They are aged at least 12 months in the best French and American oak barrels, inside century-old caves dug deep into the mineral-rich volcanic rock underlying the hand-tended vineyard. Proprietor Jerry Seps' Zinfandels are famed for elegance and longevity. Raspberries, black cherries and spice are the keynote of these complex, well balanced wines.

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 1960s, 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 1980s, 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 are 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 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 Valley, 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 specimens 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.

VTYSB0318_2008 Item# 111164