Bradford Mountain Winery
2011 Bradford Mountain Red Field Blend
Red Blend •Bradford Mountain
California: Dry Creek Valley
Another outstanding achievement from our friends at Bradford Mountain Winery, today’s delicious 2011 Red Field Blend gets our highest recommendation! Don’t let the low price of the wine fool you, dear Operative, today’s wine delivers value well above its asking price.
Aromatic, delicious and loaded with juicy, dark fruits, it really impressed our entire tasting panel. Youthful and bright, this wine is drinking beautifully right now. We can’t help but think that it will only continue to improve - so we’re recommending that you stock up.
Pair this flexible, food-fantastic wine with just about anything. We enjoyed our sample bottles with a cheesy baked ziti, with plenty of marinara sauce and red chili flakes.
Deep purple hues at the core, with concentrated color right out to the fine ruby edge of the wine. Swirl the wine and watch as wave upon wave of skinny, wine-colored legs move slowly down the glass.
Multi-layered, with sweet blackberry, spiced black cherry, blueberry and bramble that meld with sweet spice, dark tobacco leaf, burnt caramel, wild strawberry, cocoa dust, black pepper. At the tail end, subtle hints of anise and lavender make a lovely appearance.
Dark, juicy and loaded with ripe fruit, this delicious wine leads with ripe blackberry, black cherry, wild strawberry juice, cranberry and sweet dried cherry. As the wine breathes, it opens up to reveal follow-on flavors of dark chocolate, sweet spice, dark tobacco leaf, dried violets and a hint of dried lavender.
Very long, juicy and loaded with long-sustaining flavors. As dark, ripe fruits fade, they leave the mouth with a softly chewy coating, with dried red and black fruit, spice, pepper and dark dried flower petals.
What the Winery Says
Lavender. Baking Spice. Rhubarb Pie. Leather. Boysenberry. Blackberry Jam. Molasses. Plums. Chocolate.
64% Syrah, 25% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah
Dry Creek Valley
About the Winery
Bradford Mountain is the tallest of the hills making up the coastal range bordering the west side of the Dry Creek Valley in northern Sonoma County. From the top, the Pacific Ocean is a mere 15 miles to the west, and in between, there is nothing but forested hills. Just south of the summit lies a swale that was planted to Zinfandel nearly 100 years ago and, as the site of an old gristmill, has been known as the Grist Vineyard for some years. At harvest time, the story among the vineyard workers is that they know the fruit is ripe when the indigenous picking crew (wild pigs) arrives. Chasing the wild pigs out of the vineyard to get the real crew in is always exciting.
The Dry Creek Valley has long been known for producing zinfandels of both great elegance and power. It is here that the raspberry flavors in the variety step to the fore. Because of the climate, the vines tend to ripen evenly, producing wines with concentration but without weight. Fruit from the hills surrounding the valley offers the same palate, with the addition of greater depth of flavor and a bit more spice. There is not much land suitable for planting in this stretch of mountains, and the Grist Vineyard has long been sought for its fruit.
George Hambrecht started the Bradford Mountain label just out of college, in the late ’90s. Today the Hambrecht family continues its ownership of the vineyard land.
Winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix
While on vacation in South Africa, Virginia Lambrix tasted her first “serious wine.” Captured always by a love of nature and the out-of-doors, she determined it was time to learn about the art of the vineyard – viticulture. Within a year, Virginia was studying horticulture and agronomy in the master’s program at the University of California, Davis, with an emphasis on viticulture and enology. Upon graduation, she worked at the Hendry Ranch in Napa, and for Concha y Toro in Chile.
In 2004, Virginia visited a biodynamic farm in Chile. It was immediately clear to her that the biodynamic principles of respecting nature and nurturing ecology within the vineyard made sense in both a scientific framework and on an intuitive level. She embraced the philosophy and made a point to study and implement its principles at every opportunity. With this knowledge, she returned to work in California for Lynmar and De Loach Vineyards, both of which are in the Russian River Valley.
During her three years at De Loach Vineyards, Virginia worked closely with her growers, moving their vineyards to more sustainable farming methodologies and, in the process, improving quality and moderating farming costs. Her mentor at De Loach, Greg La Follette, taught her to understand both vineyards and winemaking at an intuitive level.
Working side-by-side with winemakers Hugh Chappelle at Lynmar Estate and Greg La Follette, Virginia couldn’t help but follow their winemaking with interest and in 2008 she began making wine for Truett Hurst Winery. Bringing her former background in the Russian River Valley to the attention of the Truett Hurst team, she added Russian River Valley wines to the winery’s portfolio.
Today, she oversees winemaking for Truett Hurst wines in Dry Creek Valley, VML Winery in Russian River Valley, as well as the Bradford Mountain and Healdsburg Ranches brands.
Virginia is a strong advocate for alternative agriculture. She is currently on the Demeter Board for education on biodynamic farming, with the goal of developing educational resources for farmers who are pursuing this approach to farming.