What We Say 2007 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
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Today’s Sonoma County Vintner’s selection is also an exceptional QPR (quality to price ratio) value Recession Buster.
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Mission Codename: The Goods
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Pedroncelli Winery, where The Wine Spies have absconded with some fantastic QPR wines. This time, retreive their newest Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2007 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Winemaker: John Pedroncelli
Zinfandel is one of the favorite grape varietals, and for good reason, so many wonderful California wines are made from this varietal. Related to the Italian Primitivo grape and tracing its origin to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski, Zinfandel is one of the most versatile varietals with the ability to make wines, both rich to fruity, dark to light, and dry to sweet.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet, with a fine ring of purple at the edge of the glass. When swirled, the wine shows a tight surface. On settling, skinny legs speed down the glass.
Smell – Dark and ripe, with blackberry, raspberry and plum, intermingled with black pepper, soft cedar and a hint of smoky young strawberry.
Feel – Full-bodied, soft and slightly dry, with a gentle mineral spice component that give support to the solid medium tannins.
Taste – Balanced red and black fruit that delivers dark raspberry, blackberry, plum, black cherry and spice. These sit atop follow-on flavors of black pepper, soft oak and mineral-spice.
Finish – Medium long, with lingering blackfruit, pepper, soft oak and a hint of black licorice.
Conclusion – The Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards 2007 Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel is another terrific Zinfandel with a terrific price. With great flavors and aromatics, this wine delivers a single vineyard drinking experience above its price class. Like last years vintage, this wine offers up classic Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel with great character and a full, rich body. If you are looking for a great daily drinker Zin, look no further. This one delivers the goods – without breaking the bank.
What follows is a retransmission of our original mission report – in which Agent Red first becomes acquainted with today’s winery:
I got the call shortly before 10pm.
“Go for Agent Red,” I answered.
“Red, its White. Priority Alpha 7 mission directive.”
“Ready to receive.”
With that, my W.I.N.E. handheld device came to life, its dual displays indicating that a mission was being uploaded. I sprang to life as well, quickly dressing in my night tac suit.
The soft double brrt from the device told me that my order had been received. I spoke a command, and the soft female voice of the device declared the following:
“Target: Pedroncelli Winery. Coordinates and navigational data uploaded to your vehicle. Satellite thermal imaging has detected numerous bodies in the vineyards. Patterns of movement are contrary to conformity to expected norms, suggesting that a late-night harvest may be underway. Proceed to winery and assess the situation. Report findings to Agent White.”
As the device finished speaking, I was exiting my safe house… But, instead of heading to the winery, I diverted for my previously scheduled rendezvous with Agent Sparkle – at our favorite Sonoma County wine bar, [REDACTED].
Sparkle was waiting for me at the bar, and I explained to her that I needed to file a quick report before settling in for an evening of tasting and light dining.
I tucked myself into a dark corner, pulled out my handheld and whispered my ‘report’:
“Agent Red. Field recon report. Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards. I have identified the winemaker, vineyard manager and numerous winery personnel at work in the Zinfandel blocks of the estate vineyards. Grapes are being inspected and measured and spirited conversation is ongoing, particularly between vineyard manager and winemaker. Wait. It looks as though a picking decision has been made… Tractors… Bins… they are harvesting. It is obvious that these grapes are being picked to Pedroncelli’s fabled Midnight Run Zinfandel. Mystery solved, mission complete, Agent Red out!
I snapped my handheld shut, took a deep bow and, with a flourish, present my arm to my waiting lady-Agent. She smiled wryly and said, “Shouldn’t I get credit for that mission, Red? I told you about that wine just last week!”
“Well, m’lady, at least you know that I listen to everything you tell me.”
“Everything, eh?” And with that she gave me her ‘you jerk’ smile as we sidled up to the bar and ordered our wines.
If you love great QPR Zinfandel that doesn’t drink like a crummy budget wine, then I wholeheartedly recommend today’s wonderful Midnight Run Zinfandel from Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards.
P.S. Don’t tell Agent White that I cheated on today’s mission!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Pedroncelli Winery and vineyards can be seen in satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards
About This Wine:
Our Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel has a very fragrant nose of ripe raspberry and black pepper followed by spicy, jammy concentrated fruit flavors. Structured, rounded and full in the mouth, this wine has a long, lingering finish laced with slight toasted oak undertones.
Located on the eastern hillsides of Dry Creek Valley, the 20-acre Bushnell Vineyard has been closely related to the Pedroncelli family for over 50 years. Winery founder John Sr. purchased the property in 1945, and, at the time, it was planted to Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane. The vineyard was sold to son-in-law Al Pedroni in the 1950’s and he tended the vineyard for over 40 years. Al’s daughter Carol Bushnell inherited the vineyard in the 1990’s and she and her husband Jim now farm the vineyard. They grow Zinfandel and Petite Sirah—we used a small portion of Petite Sirah from their vineyard in this year’s vintage.
The fruit was picked the second week of September and fermented separately in small capacity stainless steel tanks which lends better skin-to-juice ratio…better for extraction of color and flavor. Three pumpovers per day put the juice and skins in constant contact. Following fermentation and pressing, the young wine was transferred to French and American oak barrels to age for eleven months. The time in the barrel added complexity, making a softer, smoother wine.
About The Winery:
Since 1927, when John Pedroncelli, Sr. purchased vineyard and a small winery in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, two elements remain unchanged: the exceptional place the Pedroncelli family farms vineyards, and the family’s dedication to making fine wines.
- From selling grapes to home winemakers during prohibition in order to keep the vineyards going,
- to growing a small base of business during the 1930s and 1940s,
- to the second generation joining their father: son John becoming winemaker in 1948 followed by Jim in 1955 as sales director,
- to 1963 when the winery was officially purchased by John and Jim from their father,
- to growing the line of wines in the 1960s with vineyard expansion and diversification,
- to the boom time of the 1970s and 1980s along with many changes and additions to our sales base including national sales and export,
- the third generation coming on board and vineyard replanting in the 1990s
- to the 21st century where the fourth generation is coming up the ranks…
- and it is still a family owned business.
It all adds up to tradition, heritage and a family of wines you can enjoy with confidence.
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley
Composition: 90% Zinfandel; 10% Petite Sirah
Aging: 11 months in French & American oak barrels