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Flat front label of wine

The Federalist Sonoma Zinfandel 2008

Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
  • WS87
14.2% ABV
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2.4 4 Ratings
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2.4 4 Ratings
14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Our Dry Creek estate-grown Federalist Zinfandel is hand-crafted to bring out the true individuality of the Zinfandel grape. The Dry Creek Valley has unique characteristics that make it especially well-suited for cultivation of this hearty, decidedly American grape. The valley receives pronounced afternoon heat, but our vines are also cooled by the night air that creeps up the Russian River Valley from the waters of the Pacific Ocean, producing evening and early morning fog. Our vineyard enjoys the luxury of extended "hang time," which produces more mature fruit, and results in rich, full-bodied flavor characteristics. The Federalist Zinfandel has robust fruit with bright berry fruit character, and its lively acidity allows it to partner well with a wide variety of foods.

Blend: 83% Zinfandel, 13% Alicante Bouschet, 4% Carignane

The Federalist will donate a portion of the proceeds to the VFW Foundation's Return the Favor program which provides financial assistance for families of deployed troops and prepaid phone cards for soldiers deployed overseas.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 87
Wine Spectator
Exhibits bold black raspberry and toasty oak aromas and ripe, zesty plum, dill and white pepper flavors that finish with firm tannins. Drink now through 2016. 2,570 cases made
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The Federalist

The Federalist

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The Federalist, Sonoma County, California
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The roots of Zinfandel began to take hold in the United States just as the Federalists were establishing our nation’s independence. This Dry Creek Valley estate-grown Federalist Zinfandel is an ode to this noble grape, and a celebration of its decidedly American origin. The robust fruit, bright berry fruit character and lively acidity speak to the distinct characteristics of these bold, strong vines that are inseparably intertwined with the history of the United States itself.

The Federalist's vineyards are located in Sonoma County, California. Owned and managed by the Terlato Family, they have positioned the winery to produce single vineyard and estate wines with a focus on Zinfandel. The Federalist is sourced from 100% estate grown new vines on the estate.

The Federalist's packaging features the leader and most famous Federalist in American history, Alexander Hamilton. The Federalists believed in strong national government, supported modernizing, manufacturing & industrial development, and the use of a tariff to fund the Treasury. They supported a national Bank of the United States, and funding national and state debts incurred during the Revolutionary War. In foreign affairs the Federalists opposed the French Revolution, and sought a strong army and navy. A few other noted Federalists were: James Madison (VA), John Jay (NY), George Washington (VA), and John Adams (MA).

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

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.

EMP680125_2008 Item# 110481