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Flat front label of wine

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 1960's, 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 1980's, 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 is 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 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.

VTYSB0318_2008 Item# 111164