Zinfandel •Russian River Valley & Dry Creek
California: Sonoma County
What we say
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Mission Codename: Golden Grist for the Mill
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Verify reports of Adobe Road’s latest Gold Medal Zinfandel
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Adobe Road Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Zinfandel
Winemaker: Franc Dusak
Our operatives know that Adobe Road makes an exceptional Zinfandel. This vintage is no exception. This Zin is made with some of the best fruit available, specifically grapes from the famous Grist Vineyard (Turley and Bradford Mountain) in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – This wine is dark garnet and purple with excellent clarity, a bright luminescent sparkle and slow slender legs. Upon uncorking this wine, large tartaric acid crystals were present on the cork (a normal occurrence in exceptional wines).Smell – Profound and youthful, but also clean aromas of fruit including ripe raspberries, and cherries layered upon a cedar base with a hint of fennel and caramel. As this wine opens a tiny herbaceous bramble brush component reveals itself.
Feel – This wine is medium-bodied and very smooth with fine medium tannins, clean acidity with a peppery tang on the tip of the tongue.
Taste – Both tart and ripe raspberries lead off this fruit-forward, but the fruit is well balanced and integrated with toasted cedar, ripe plum flavors and a touch of white pepper at the back of the palate.
Finish – The finish is smooth and rich, leading off with its ripe plum fruit backed by its cedar and spices.
Conclusion – In Adobe Road’s latest Gold Medal Zinfandel you get a wine that not only quintessentially Zin but also a wine with tremendous elegance that will appeal to even the most discerning palates. This wine has the subtlety of an Pinot with the flavors you’d expect from a Zin. Overall, an exceptional effort and in our humble opinion, worthy of its many accolades.
(republished from Agent Red’s first encounter with Adobe Road Wines)
I love my missions to France. The wine, the climate and the food all seem to agree with me.
On a recent mission to the French village of Anjou in the Loire Valley (the region in France best known for Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc wines), I was tipped off by a local asset that winery owner and racing legend Kevin Buckler was staying in a hotel neighboring my own.
He was in France for his annual appearance at the world famous auto race, 24 Hours of Le Mans. Kevin and his team drive the incredible Porsche GT3. Kevin is a world-class driver, and he and his team have racked up wins at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2002) and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans (2002), an overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2003), and the title of Porsche World Cup Champion in 2002.
Kevin’s winery, Adobe Road, had been under light surveillance for a few months already and Central Command was preparing to send an Agent to investigate – but I got my own once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet Kevin in his racing element, and Central Command approved my impromptu mission and I extended my stay in France.
I am enough of a Porsche fan to have my own sights set on a 2008 Cayman S. Since I had the brochure with me on my travels I used it as a prop, taking it with me to the hotel restaurant where Kevin and his team were having dinner. Having made friends with the Maître ’D earlier (I buttered him up with a bottle of Patrick Bodouin Anjou Villages Cabernet Franc ), I was seated next to their table.
I sat down and positioned the Cayman brochure so that it would be seen by Kevin or his crew. Then I ordered a bottle of great wine and waited. They took the bait and one of the guys at the table leaned over and said to me, “Hey, Buddy. That’s a nice car, but why not spring for a real Porsche and get a GT3?”
Now, I knew that the monster GT3 was their car, but I replied, “I leave that car to the professionals. It’s better suited to the racetrack, if you ask me.”
That opened up a great conversation about Porsches and about wine that went late into the night. Kevin waxed poetic about both and I enjoyed his passion on these two great subjects. As the evening was ending, Kevin’s crew chief invited me to visit pit row for a brief tour of their on-track operations. I jumped at the chance and enjoyed every second of it. At the end of the tour, I asked if I could ride along during a check-ride… and was nearly laughed off the track.
Once the crew chief wiped the tears from his eyes, he became very serious. He quickly escorted me away from the pit row, handed me a few bottles of Adobe Road wine, and pushed me toward the security exit. Oh, well. At least I tried. And, at least I walked away with an arm full of Kevin’s excellent wine.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the famous Grist Vineyard can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Awards & Accolades:
DOUBLE GOLD: 2008 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
GOLD MEDAL: 2008 San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition
GOLD MEDAL: 2008 West Coast Wine Competition
GOLD MEDAL: 2008 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition
About This Wine:
Kevin Buckler, CEO and founder of Adobe Road Winery, knew when he was creating our 2005 Zinfandel that it was going to be a special wine. The grapes come straight from Grist Vineyards, the same vineyards made famous by Turley’s Grist Zinfandel. Kevin sampled dozens of grapes from vineyards in the infamous area, before deciding that the Grist Vineyard would provide the grapes for his next gold medal wine! And that it did!
Our Zinfandels have long been the benchmark of our portfolio. However, our 2005 Zinfandel brings a new level of richness, elegance and varietal expression. At just 950 cases, this wine has been handpicked, hand de-stemmed and hand maintained to ensure the highest quality. Raspberry, boysenberry and cedar carry the nose right through to the mouth feel. This finely textured red fruit Zinfandel has a surprisingly long, elegant finish in spite of its 15.2% natural alcohol.
Hand harvested whole clusters that were cold soaked and fermented in small, open-top bins that were punched down twice daily through fermentation and gently basket pressed.
About The Winery:
Adobe Road is a small, family-owned winery located in Petaluma. We specialize in flavorful, distinctive wines. Each of our vintages is handcrafted with fine attention to detail, for a unique taste and experience. Our wines are created in small lots, allowing precise quality control to ensure that every bottle is just the way our wine artisans intended. Traditionally, Adobe Road has produced rich red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, but 2006 brings a lighter Sauvignon Blanc to our tasting room.
Adobe Road Winery is owned by renowned sports car racer and entrepreneur Kevin Buckler and his wife, Debra. Adobe Road Winery produces award winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petite Sirah exclusively from Sonoma County sources. The tasting room is located in Petaluma, California. In 1995 Kevin founded The Racer’s Group (TRG) and grew it into an internationally prominent manufacturer and distributor of performance Porsche parts, while simultaneously building a career as a successful endurance sportscar racer and team owner. Kevin’s accomplishments as a driver include class wins at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2002) and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans (2002), an overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2003), and the title of Porsche World Cup Champion in 2002. As a team owner, Kevin has directed the growth of The Racer’s Group into an internationally-acclaimed racing team.
With friends, the Bucklers started making “garage wine”, which, after prodding from enthusiastic friends started commercially bottling under the Adobe Road label in 1999. Through Kevin’s good connections, he has acquired grapes from some very prestigious vineyards, which he handcrafts into extremely limited-production wines. The awards have followed, with the Adobe Road 2001 Zinfandel winning a Silver medal in the prestigious Orange County Fair Wine Competition. In March of 2005, Adobe Road brought home the gold, with the 2002 Pinot Noir winning a Gold Medal – Best of Class; the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon placing Silver and the 2002 Zinfandel receiving Bronze at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With the goal of producing exceptional wines by hand-crafting small lots of red varietals exclusively from Sonoma County, the Bucklers have dedicated themselves to seeing their vision through to reality, and the results are paying off.
Appellation: Sonoma County
Sub-appellations: Russian River Valley and Dry Creek
Varietals: 100% Zinfandel
Production: 950 Cases