2006 One Hundred Year Old Vines Zinfandel
Zinfandel •Gaddis (1903) &Gambogi (1906)
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Ground Zero Zin
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exclusive allocation of Chronicle’s famed One Hundred Year Old Vines Zinfandel
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Chronicle Wines
Wine Subject: 2006 One Hundred Year Old Vines Zinfandel
Winemaker: Dan Cederquist
Zinfandel is often aptly named California’s grape. Its history and lore and the wines that result are often the makings of legend. In this case, winemaker Dan Cederquist selected the fantastic old-vine grapes from a two vineyards the Gaddis Vineyard planted in 1903 and Gambogi Vineyard, planted in 1906 – both in the Russian River Valley.
Zinfandel is related to the Italian Primitivo grape, 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. Napa Valley Zinfandel, specifically old vine Zin, are characterized by their big, extracted flavors, are among the most popular with our Operatives.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep garnet purple with dark ruby reflections and streaks through its clear core. Along the edges the color lightens just slightly to a brighter ruby/purple and when swirled, this springy wine leaves slow clusters of thin legs along the side of the glass.
Smell – Bright and fresh aromas of ripe brambly red fruit including raspberry, red cherry and hints of strawberry are layered over savory and meaty hints. Herbal bramble, floral notes and exotic spice adds complexity to the very pleasant nose.
Feel – Extremely smooth and initially cool then at mid-palate finely textured tannins and a touch of spice kicks in that lingers into the finish. The bright red fruit is perfectly framed with its lively acidity and tanginess.
Taste – Big but also very smooth with ripe red fruit leading the way with notes of raspberry, red cherry and other bramble fruit followed by soft but present oak and exotic clove and allspice, pepper. dark mocha and savory notes.
Finish – Medium-long in length, soft and super clean that fades gracefully with its finely textured tannins and tangy acidity lingering on and making the mouth water for another sip.
Conclusion – The 2006 Chronicle Wines One Hundred Year Old Vines Zinfandel is a remarkably smooth and clean wine with a very approachable nose and a smooth palate. Great red fruit with bramble notes, savory and exotic notes don’t overpower but adds complexity without being disjointed. A lovely wine that will pair well with aged cheeses and smoked meats.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Mike Hengehold, Owner, Chronicle Wines
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Be Patient
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: March 2008
AGENT RED: Greetings, Mike. We are thrilled to be showing your *2006 Chronicle One Hundred Year Old Vines Zinfandel * today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
MIKE HANGEGOLD: Thanks, Agent Red. It is our pleasure to showcase our Zinfandel with you, today.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MIKE: Living in Europe for six months while I was in college, and immersing myself in all of the fascinating and varied cultures of food and wine across Europe. It was an absolute blitz of the senses!
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
MIKE: Ted Lemon of Littorai.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
MIKE: Foodies and wine geeks!
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
MIKE: The 2006 One Hundred Year Old Vines Zinfandel offers that rare visceral opportunity to taste and experience history. It is sourced from two historic vineyard sites that were originally planted around the Turn of the Century, when Sonoma County was a network of dirt byways traveled by horseback and on foot. Over the years, the fruit has developed profound complexity and exoticism, that simply is hard to find in wine these days.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MIKE: Crockpot-braised short ribs with root vegetables.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Russian River Valley so special?
MIKE: The history. This area of the Russian River Valley, the Santa Rosa plain, features some of the oldest field blend plantings in the West. Additionally, the cool climate in this area is essential to the style of wines I aim to craft under Chronicle.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MIKE: Preparing for bottling of the 09 single vineyard wines.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
MIKE: Recognize that they are cool climate wines, featuring good natural acidity and balance to complement a variety of cuisine. These wines are best enjoyed over a meal.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the neighboring vineyards, where today’s Zinfandel was born, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
At Chronicle, our mantra is “elegance and finesse over brawn”. We believe in picking grapes while they still have sufficient natural acidity and brightness to pair well with all kinds of foods. Our wines express their terroir through careful small-lot selection, limited yields, and a noninterventionist approach in the winery.
One Hundred Year Old Vines is a reserve blend from two neighboring old vine vineyards, Gaddis and Gambogi, whose average age is more than one hundred years old. They are located in the heart of the Russian River Valley basin, on Piner Road near Olivet Lane. This area was popular for settlement by Italian immigrant families in the early 1900s, and today, it represents “ground zero” when it comes to old vine Zinfandel. As was typical in the early 1900s, these are mostly field blends consisting of predominantly Zinfandel with a sprinkling of Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, and Carignane. Despite consistently low yields that are rarely more than a ton and a half per acre, the cool location dictates very late picking, often late into October. Vines are all head trained, spur pruned, and dry farmed.
Gaddis Vineyard was planted in 1903. The vines are descended from the old world Primitivo grape in Italy. Gaddis produces wines with strong backbone and structure, and deep red fruit flavors. Gambogi Vineyard borders Gaddis to the southwest. It was planted in 1906, in volcanic calcium-rich soil. Gambogi produces wines with dark, deep garnet color and classic brambly aromas. The wines typically show flavors of raspberry, chocolate and spice with firm structure.
The Hundred Year Old Vines is the biggest and boldest of the Chronicle Zinfandels. In the glass it is deep purple, showing exotic aromas of all-spice blackberry, raspberry, and leather with a distinctive note of fragrant clove. Cherry and berry notes are prevalent as this wine builds to a long finish. There is some real backbone to this bottling with substantial tannins that have had additional time to integrate in bottle prior to release.
About The Winery:
The Chronicle journey began in 2006, with the dedication to producing small lot, terroir-based Pinot Noir from California’s North Coast ‒ Sonoma and Anderson Valley appellations.
Production quantities of Chronicle wines are inherently limited. I am delighted to share Chronicle with you, and hope you’ll appreciate the exceptional quality and value the wines represent. Thank you for your support!
VINEYARD SOURCES: 60% Gaddis – est. 1903, 40% Gambogi – est. 1906
WINEMAKING: Dan Cederquist
FERMENTATION: 2-day cold soak in small open top fermenter, punched down 2-3 times per day
BARREL AGING: Only free run juice goes direct to barrel, aged 20 months in American Oak (50% new) from Demptos, Barrel
Associates, and World Coopers; bottled unfined and
BOTTLED: 228 cases, 14.6% alcohol