Wise Villa Winery
2011 California Estate Zinfandel
Owl always love Zin
With so many wines offered to us each and every day, we can afford to be exceedingly careful - and extraordinarily picky - when it comes to selecting which wines we feature for you. We are so picky that we reject about one third of the wines that we review.
Big brand, award-winning wines certainly get our attention, but when a lesser-known brand finds its way to our tasting panel, we approach it with an excited open mind - and palate. Today’s Wise Villa Winery 2011 California Estate Zinfandel turned out to be… fantastic!
This delicious wine, which has earned numerous accolades, is a Zinfandel that is well worthy of your attention. We offer this wonderful wine to you with our hearty recommendation
A beautiful purple through and through, just slightly translucent, with just a hint of a lighter, rustic red rim.
Leads with juicy red fruit flavors of cherry and raspberry, laid atop notes of sweet cedar wood, aged leather, berry bramble, black peppercorn spice, and warm baking spices.
Delicious and very drinkable, with a flavor profile that is very similar to the nose, this wine is exactly what you want from a traditional Zinfandel. The red fruit, earth, and spice are very well balanced.
A lovely balance of tannin and structure, with the concentrated red fruit slowly transitioning into slight pepper notes on the back of the palate.
A slow roasted garlic and rosemary encrusted beef brisket, served with plenty of root vegetables.
What the Winery Says
With a long finish, bright plum, goji berry, blackberry, spice and pepper flavors, this is a wine great to drink by itself. Yet, with balanced acidity and tannin that is usually lacking in Zin, this wine will pair excellently with dinner.
In the vineyard, we selectively harvested these grapes 4 different times across several weeks in order to ensure that every cluster had reached optimal ripeness. We then sorted the grape clusters for purity twice, and again sorted the individual grapes after removing the stems. This intensive sorting resulted in pure, concentrated flavor while achieving balanced acidity and alcohol.
In the winery we utilized cooler fermentation temperatures to preserve as much concentrated bright fruit and spice flavor as possible. After fermentation, the wine was stored in 30% new oak (“hybrid barrels” containing a complex mix of American & French Oak)—enough to contribute a pleasant subtle depth of flavor without interfering with the natural fruit flavors of the wine.
- Dr. Grover C. Lee
- Gold Medal - San Francisco Chronicle 2014, 96 Points - Wine X Magazine
- Production Notes
- 100% Estate produced and bottled
- Aged in 30% new French and American oak
About the Winery
The Wise Villa approach to Winemaking is distinguished by purity, balance, & complexity.
In the vineyard, purity starts when our family-managed vineyard is carefully hand-picked. The grapes are then sorted in the vineyard to remove any remaining impurities (leaves, sticks, etc) and any underripe or overripe clusters or sections of clusters.
Then, in the winery, the grapes are sorted again, to ensure absolute purity. At that point, they are “de-stemmed” to separate the grapes from the stems. Before the grapes reach the fermentation tank, they are sorted a last time, grape by grape, removing any grapes that are not perfectly balanced. Purity is maintained by absolute cleanliness and care. Balance and complexity are attained by applying a variety of winemaking techniques and approaches, traditional and modern, to ensure that the best flavors of the grapes are expressed into the wine.
During aging in our underground barrel cellar, the wine obtains increased complexity with the addition of oak-derived subtleties of flavor. Finally, the wine is bottled on our estate bottling line in an absolute sterile process that ensures that the wine that enters our bottle is 100% grown on the property, made on the property, pure, balanced, complex, and exactly the quality that our fans have come to expect from Wise Villa.
Winemaker Dr. Grover C. Lee
Dr. Grover Lee grew up in the central valley of California with thousands of acres of grape vineyards surrounding his modest home. Throughout his high school years working in vineyards and testing labs he gained an appreciation of viticulture and enology. At Cal Poly S.L.O. this interest in wine making expanded as he received a BS in Biological Science with minors in Chemistry and Biochemistry and one year in a Masters program in Biochemistry. He started making his own wine in the early-nineties at local winery Cante Ao Vinho. He also took extension courses from UC Davis in Viticulture & Enology, expanding his technical knowledge of winemaking.
Traveling throughout Europe and taking copious notes about wine making techniques as he talked with winemakers was an epiphany of life and changed how Dr. Lee looked at the art and science of winemaking. The appreciation of European wine making and importance of food and wine has shaped his wine making style to this day.
Winemaker Kevin Luther
Kevin Luther decided to enter the winemaking industry out of a respect for the craftsmanship and work that produces delicious wine. He comes from a family of working-class folk, many of whom work as carpenters. Kevin’s chosen craft of winemaking and carpentry share a common thread of pride in forming something to be proud of as the end result of the days’ labor.
The accumulated wisdom of winemaking is not held in one winery, or one country. Kevin believes that winemaking is an ancient tradition that is not limited to one nation. Therefore, after obtaining a degree in Viticulture & Enology from the foremost winemaking school in the world, UC Davis, he traveled the hemispheres working harvests at the greatest wineries of the world.
By working harvests in Oregon, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Australia, Argentina, and New Zealand, Kevin was able to accumulate a substantial amount of winemaking wisdom.
Now, he does a little of everything here at Wise Villa, as Winemaker, Manager, and Salesman. As Winemaker, he confers with Grover on the winemaking style and viticultural practices, takes care of the day-to-day winemaking details, and manages the rest of the winemaking staff. Kevin is also currently pursuing an Executive MBA in Wine from Sonoma State University.