Bradford Mountain Winery
2012 Grist Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Zinfandel •Grist Vineyard
California: Dry Creek Valley
Another vintage, another stunning wine - today marks the return of Bradford Mountain Winery and their exceptional Grist Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel.
We’ve tasted three successive vintages of this wine, and the 2012 vintage might be the best one yet. Our tasting panel was over the moon for this wine, with its layers of lush dark fruit and woodsy, toasted spice. One panel member suggested pairing today’s wine with slowly smoked BBQ ribs, and Agent Red nearly leaped to find the nearest grill.
We highly recommend today’s gem from one of the best Zinfandel fruit sources in the world. Don’t miss out!
Dark scarlet with flecks of magenta throughout the glass.
Absolutely lovely and aromatic, with reduced dark fruit notes of blackberry and sweet plum blended with berry bramble, sweet tobacco leaf, sandalwood, violet, soft herbal notes, black peppercorn, and a touch of dark baking spices.
Lush flavors of braised, reduced dark fruit, highlighted by black cherry, boysenberry, and black currant. Under these fruit notes are additional flavors of fresh forest floor, cherry cola, European licorice, toasted oak spice, and lavender.
On the finish, velvety tannins and silky smooth texture combine to provide an exquisitely elegant mouthfeel.
Slowly smoked pork ribs, served with your favorite (preferably homemade!) BBQ sauce.
What the Winery Says
Harvested entirely from the oldest blocks of our Grist vineyard, this wine shows the power and elegance that you would expect from a high elevation site. Blackberry sorbet, fresh violets, and graham cracker leap from the glass at first swirl. Powerful flavors of blueberry and cinnamon spice continue to the palate. As the wine begins to open, it really hits its stride with strong floral notes and a smooth fruitful finish. Big and robust, yet soft and delicate, this wine is one that you will want to share or perhaps guard for yourself.
- Virginia Marie Lambrix
- 91 Points - Wine Spectator (Previous Vintage)
- Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
- Grist Vineyard
- Fruit Variety
- 88% Zinfandel, 11% Syrah, 1% Petite Sirah
- 10 months in French oak, 38% new
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.