Spelletich Cellars

2005 Alviso Vineyard Zinfandel

Zinfandel •Alviso Vineyard

California: Amador County

Offer Expired:Sep 10, 2010 at 11:59 pm
$25.00
Avg. Price

What we say

SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:

Today’s Amador County Zinfandel from our good new friends at Spelletich Cellars, is a deep and delicious wine, worthy of the recognition it receives from this special alert!

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Mission Codename: Magic Spelletich

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Infiltrate Spelletich Cellars and procure an allotment of their superb single vineyard, Amador County Zinfandel, from the fabled Alviso Vineyard

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Spelletich Cellars

Wine Subject: 2005 Zinfandel – Alviso Vineyard

Winemaker: Barbara Spelletich

Backgrounder: Nestled in California’s once gold-rich Sierra Foothills, the Amador County AVA (American Viticultural Area) has been called California’s last great undiscovered wine growing region. With vineyards that date back to the 19th Century, this region is home to some of the oldest vines in the state. Today, Amador County produces some of the most deeply concentrated and intense Zinfandels in the state. Today’s wine is the best example of a perfectly balanced Amador Zin that we could get our spy paws on. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Perfect Ruby red hues that are so vibrant and authentic that we could not stop simply staring at the wine. Swirling the wine reveals a solid surface that settles quickly, leaving behind skinny legs that retain the color of the wine.

Smell – Lush and jammy, with pronounced blueberry, right up front. Then, blackberry, raspberry and Bing cherry round out the fruit. These balanced fruits mingle harmoniously with brown spice, soft anise, sweet oak and a hint of kola nut.

Feel – Plush and full-bodied, this wine has a velvet entry that yields to a soft grippy feeling, as plump tannins work a little magic on the palate. The dryness eventually spreads to the lips and cheeks, reminding you to take another sip.

Taste – Bold but balanced fruits from the nose lead the way, with added cassis, black fig and subtle black plum. The spice also adds soft cinnamon and a hint of clove. These all sit atop cocoa powder, subtle toasted vanilla and dusty bramble.

Finish – Very long, with flavors that evolve on the palate. Leading with dark fruit, the flavors move to spice, chocolate and bramble, eventually ending in a soft mineral dryness.

Conclusion – This exciting Zinfandel is one of the finest that we have tasted from the Amador region. If you have never had the pleasure to try an Amador County Zinfandel, this wine presents you with an excellent opportunity. Don’t let the relatively low price of the wine fool you, this is a serious Zinfandel that is packed with character and finesse. Our tasting panel enjoyed everything about the wine, starting with the gorgeous ruby color, and carrying all the way through the wonderful fruit and long finish. We paired our food-friendly review bottles with a hearty garlic and olive oil grilled New York steak. It was perfect! Do not miss out on this big, beautiful Zin. Cheers!

Mission Report:

WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER

SUBJECT: Barbara Spelletich

WINE EDUCATION: UC Davis

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Cork & Bottle, Seattle Washington, Retail Store Manager. Taught Wine Classes, wine tasting and cheese; St. Michelle, Woodinville, Washington, Retail Sales Manager, Public Events, Tasting Room Zephyr Imports, Owner; Imported wines from Italy, France, Germany, Spain & Portugal; Whitwhams, Responsible for US sales. We were negociants for Cru Classe Bordeaux, Ports & Burgundies. Offices in Manchester England & Cenon, Bordeaux; St. Clement, St. Helena, CA National Sales Manager; Spelletich Cellars, Owner & Winemaker

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: As natural as possible.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: ” I do want to manipulate wine. I want to harvest when ripe, ferment cool to capture the fruit essence and age until the wine is ready to be bottled. The most important feature of my wine is that it smell and taste of the grapes it was made from. Simple.”

FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Bodog Red 1993, Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 & Chardonnay 1994. All Napa Valley.


WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER

SUBJECT: Barbara Spelletich

WINE EDUCATION: UC Davis

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Cork & Bottle, Seattle Washington, Retail Store Manager. Taught Wine Classes, wine tasting and cheese; St. Michelle, Woodinville, Washington, Retail Sales Manager, Public Events, Tasting Room
Zephyr Imports, Owner; Imported wines from Italy, France, Germany, Spain & Portugal; Whitwhams, Responsible for US sales. We were negociants for Cru Classe Bordeaux, Ports & Burgundies. Offices in Manchester England & Cenon, Bordeaux; St. Clement, St. Helena, CA National Sales Manager; Spelletich Cellars, Owner & Winemaker

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: As natural as possible.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: ” I do want to manipulate wine. I want to harvest when ripe, ferment cool to capture the fruit essence and age until the wine is ready to be bottled. The most important feature of my wine is that it smell and taste of the grapes it was made from. Simple.”

FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Bodog Red 1993, Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 & Chardonnay 1994. All Napa Valley.


WINEMAKER INTERVIEW

AGENT RED: Greetings, Barbara. We are thrilled to be showing your 2005 Alviso Vineyard Zinfandel today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

BARBARA: Thanks, Red. It is our pleasure to share this delicious Amador County Zin with your Operatives, today!

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

BARBARA: Love of wine started when I took a business trip with my sister, Sallie, to California when I was 18 years old. We went to the Monterey Jazz Festival and I had to spend 4 hours by myself in Carmel while my sister met with some clients. I spent the entire time in a retail wine shop. After this trip I had a case of wine sent to me in Seattle every two months. The owner of the shop was educating me from afar.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

BARBARA: While I was importing wine from Europe, I met many different wine makers, but Angelo Gaja influenced me the most." Never compromise! Pick your grapes ripe, not under or over ripe. Take time to let the wine develop. Make your own style and do not pay attention to what others are doing. You only have your own grapes to worry about."

RED: Who do you make wine for?

BARBARA: I make wine for Food! It is my style, but my husband Timothy tastes and critiques as well as my daughter Kristen. Both have different palates than mine and if you were in my lab when I am blending I would make you taste as well. I watch faces as they taste. I also require notes from whomever is tasting. Then I will look at all the notes and do a tweek to the wine or start over.

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

BARBARA: The 2005 Zinfandel, Alviso Vineyard, Amador County, Sierra Foothills. This wine is from a certified organic vineyard – and it’s good!

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Amador County region so special?

BARBARA: I love this region. Hot days and cool nights. This clone does well in the granite soils. The elevation is about 2400 feet. Since the grapes always seem to have three degrees of ripening I get really high alcohols. To help the flavor, I do not inoculate for Malolactic. I keep the original Malic acid present and this helps support the higher alcohols. This wine has lots of life and is full of fruit.

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the vineyard where this wine was born is classified, but you can see Amador County in this satellite photo.

What the winery says

About This Wine:

Blackberry, cocoa, sassafras, brambleberry, black cherry cola, anise, a dollop of vanilla creme and spicy French plum with fleshy tannins that provide a long smooth finish that lingers. Power and finesse. Harvested by flavors not sugar, our zinfandel boasts ripeness together with acidity to liven it up and carry a refreshing finish. A cool fermentation and no malolactic fermentation adds to the charm of this distinctive Zinfandel to create the style of wines we want to produce: Rich, ripe and refreshing.

About The Winery:

Spelletich Family Winery started with the 1994 harvest in Napa Valley. The first wines were Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Bodog Red. With minimal intervention, they rely upon their secret weapon: Barb’s palate. Focusing on three basic, yet critical principles: when to harvest, when to press and when to pull off the oak to pursue something larger and more elusive than your ordinary wines. Their approach is to produce wines of integrity; that are rich, ripe and refreshing. Barbs focus is the fruit. She wants you to be able to taste real fruit flavors and smell the incredible nose of her wines. This winery is truly only family owned and operated. Husband & wife team Timothy and Barb Spelletich and their daughter Kristen.

Barb was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She stared her career in the wine industry as the manager of The Cork & Bottle. She worked for Ste. Michelle Winery, G. Raden & Sons, and then established her own distributorship, Zephyr Imports. This began her international travels and relationships with the finest wineries in the world. She spent every spring traveling to Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. The purpose was to visit each producer to choose the wines to be exported to the United States. These producers became friends and taught Barb much about wine making. Mainly the importance of ripe fruit and the gentle way to preserve that fruit flavor. Her next step was Whitwhams Fine and Rare Wines, based in Manchester, England and Bordeaux. Life as a negociant enhanced her contact with winemakers of all Cru Classe. She futher enhanced her winemaking skills with courses at UC Davis. Barb arrived in Napa Valley in 1992 and started working for St. Clement Vineyards in St. Helena.

Timothy grew up half way across the country in Davenport, Iowa. After graduating with a degree in business from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he had an opportunity to work in Italy. He worked at the Locanda Del Sant’Uffizio, a small country inn and restaurant located in a town outside of Asti. At this former monastery he experienced an old fashioned way of life. Each prix fixe meal was prepared with the freshest seasonal ingredients available on the property and nearby villages. The exposure to herbs, fruits and vegetables harvested at their peak of ripeness, creating menus, plus pairing the food with wine introduced Timothy to flavors and sensory evalationsthat changed his life forever. This small exclusive inn also made their own wine from estate grapes. He then returned to the United States to work for The Pierre Hotel in New York City and The Four Seasons in Philadelphia. Timothy arrived in Napa Valley spring of 1993 and started working for Tra Vigne Restaurant in St. Helena as manager and wine buyer.

After 11 years of business, Barb & Timothy were able to hire their daughter Kristen. Born in Seattle, Washington, she grew up in St. Helena. Kristen spent 10 years working in the wine and hospitality industry before she was ready to tackle her own family business. While attending college in Napa for Psychology, she had an opportunity to work at The French Laundry and realized that she needed to start thinking more seriously about the industry that had been part of her life since birth. She continued learning through sales and relationship marketing at The Culinary Insitute, Viansa, Sterling Vineyards and Mumm Napa. Her main focus now is to build Spelletich Cellars to fit the 21st century market.

Timothy and Barb’s individual experiences in Europe, interests in wine, food, cooking and entrepreneurial drive generate an awesome team of artistry and hard work. The combination of wine industry preparation and lifelong passion is what united them in the heart of Napa Valley to launch Spelletich Cellars Winery.

Now with the second generation on board and a strong outlook on the future, we share our passion and remind you that life is to be enjoyed with food, family & friends!

Technical Analysis:

Region: Amador County

Alcohol: 16%

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