What We Say 2006 Jana Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel
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Mission Codename: 83 Years Old and Extra Stingy
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Return to Jana Winery, acquire their stellar Old Vine Zinfandel
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Jana Wines (Scott Harvey Wines)
Wine Subject: 2006 Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel
Backgrounder: 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 Zinfandels, specifically old vine Zin, are characterized by their big, extracted flavors, are among the most popular with our Operatives.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet with violet and purple hints through its dark clear core that is reminiscent of black cherry Jell-O. Along the edges the color remains dense in color and when swirled, this slightly thicker in texture wine clings to the side of the glass leaving behind fat tightly spaced slow legs.
Smell – Tangy and redolent, with notes of ripe black and Bing cherry and other dark fruit layered over a pungent sweetwood and oak component. Heady bramble and green herbs meld with a touch of earthiness, sweet spice and floral hints.
Feel – Rich and tangy, this expansive and full-bodied wine coats the palate and leaves a hint of hot spice on the tip and sides of the tongue. Youthfully firm but well integrated tannins and vibrant acidity along with a touch of textured minerality lingers into the finish.
Taste – Juicy and fleshy black and red cherry along with some ripe plum and currants lead off as oaky and bramble notes follow. A touch of green herb and sweet spice and hints of pepper adds a nice touch of complexity.
Finish – Rich and ripe cherry and ripe plum linger one the palate as this wine’s tangy acidity, youthful tannins and expansive palate fades gently.
Conclusion – The 2006 Jana Wines Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel is a delicious and youthful wine that has plenty of staying power. Fruit forward on the nose and palate with a generous mouth-feel and long finish you can pair this wine with the boldest of game meats, tangy Italian pasta or sip it in front of a roaring fireplace with a fellow operative.
We were unable to secure a new interview with Scott Harvey, today. What follows is the interview we conducted with Scott when we ran the previous vintage of today’s excellent Jana Zinfandel:
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Scott Harvey
DATE OF BIRTH: 3-24-54
PLACE OF BIRTH: Bamberg, Germany
WINE EDUCATION: 1975, I apprenticed at K. Fitz-Ritter Winery while attending the Weinbau Schule in Neustadt, Germany. Returned to Amador County to apprentice from Cary Gott at Montevina winery.
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Montevina, In 1978, at the age of twenty-three, Scott took over as Head Winemaker for Story Winery, worked at Santino Winery and then started Renwood winery with a partner. Later was recruited to Napa Valley to be winemaker and president of Folie a Deux.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Being European trained, I make wines to go with food—good acidity and low pH. This is considered old world style of winemaking.
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Barbera
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Named 1 of the top 10 Winemakers in CA by Dan Berger
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: 2003 Scott Harvey Reserve Barbera being selected as 3rd best Barbera in the world outside of Italy.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Wine needs to tell two stories, one I’m Zinfandel, two I’m Napa Valley”
AGENT RED: Greetings, Scott. We are thrilled to be showing your Jana Old Vine Zinfandel today. It is one of the most delicious Zin’s I have tried of late! Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
SCOTT: Thank you for selecting one of my wines for your program.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
SCOTT: When I was sent to Germany as an AFS exchange student in high school, I was sent to a winemaking region of Germany. On my first day there, my “German family” handed me a glass of wine. I looked out the window at the vineyards below, got my German dictionary out and said, “does this wine come from those grapes?” They said “yes, do you want to see where it’s made?” ….and the rest is history.
RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
SCOTT: I got my basic training in Germany but my recent winemaking style I attribute to my mentor , Dr. Richard Peterson.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
SCOTT: Old world style. Wines that are drunk with food.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
SCOTT: Dr. Richard Peterson
RED: How long have you been making wine?
SCOTT: 37 years
RED: Who do you make wine for?
SCOTT: myself, my wife, and our consumers
RED: Tell me, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
SCOTT: Only 2% of the world has a Mediterranean climate like Napa Valley with the warm days and cool nights along with its unique soils and geography.
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
SCOTT: You need to be a very clean and neat person. 90% of winemaking is janitorial.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
SCOTT: Harvest—and what a great one it’s turning out to be!
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
SCOTT: It’s a full bodied Napa Valley Zinfandel from 100 year old vines from one of the best appellations.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
SCOTT: Jana’s company with BBQ’d Tri Tip
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
SCOTT: I like to iron my own shirts.
RED:What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
SCOTT: People drink experiences. Have fun with the wine.
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
SCOTT: Whatever my wife wants to drink.
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
SCOTT: Question: Do you have any new wines planned to make? Answer: I’d love to make a Gewürztraminer from a cold climate region.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we
are big fans!
SCOTT: Thank, Red! Back to harvest for me. See you soon!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Jana Wines and Scott Harvey Wines can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Scott Harvey Wines
About This Wine:
Fruit forward wine with fresh black cherry, currants and mint layered with French oak.
The small crop of long stringy bunches allowed for full Zinfandel maturity. The wine was aged for 18 months in French Oak creating a complete wine with well rounded tannins.
Vineyard Notes: From the D’Anneo Vineyard in Calistoga. 50% of this vineyard is 83 years old while the other 50% is 8 years old. Dry land farmed to produce small yields of flavorful Zinfandel
About The Winery:
Scott Harvey Wines are made of the best varietals from the terroir of Amador County, California. These worldly wines include an Old Vine Zinfandel, a Syrah (Rhone), a Barbera (Italian) and a Port (Portuguese). Scott’s roots are in Amador County which has allowed him to develop considerable expertise with these varietals.
Growing up in California’s Sierra Mountains Region, Scott developed a keen interest in winemaking as a high school exchange student in the Rhineland Pfalz region of Germany. Scott attended California State University at Sacramento before beginning practical Enology training at Montevina Winery in Amador County. Back to Germany in 1975, he apprenticed at K. Fitz-Ritter Winery while attending the Weinbau Schule in Neustadt. Once again returning to Montevina Winery, Scott focused on all aspects of winemaking and running a winery. From farming the grapes to effectively marketing the wine, Scott solidified his knowledge and experience. In 1978, at the age of twenty-three, Scott took over as Head Winemaker for Story Winery, also in Amador County.
In 1979 Scott developed an ambitious winery plan for the Santino family. As Winemaker and General Manager of Santino Winery, Scott is credited with placing Amador County firmly on the California wine map. Crafting the best wines possible from the soils and climatic conditions of the region, Santino and later Renwood benefited from Scott’s German training and innovative style. Becoming one of the leading wineries in Amador County, and garnering critical acclaim, the wine world was paying attention. Amador County was now recognized as a world-class wine-growing appellation.
In 1996, Scott was recruited as Partner, Winemaker & President for newly purchased, Folie a Deux Winery in Napa Valley. Combining forces with Lead Partner, renowned Winemaker, Richard Peterson, Ph.D, a formidable winemaking team was launched. Scott pursued his commitment to award-winning Cabernets made from the Estate Vineyards in Napa Valley while continuing his passion for Amador County Zinfandel. Access to Scott’s original Grandpère vineyard in Amador County and close relationships with premier Amador County growers, resulted in award-winning wines all around for Folie a Deux. In addition, Scott’s creation, the “Menage a Trois” line of wines, was an instant commercial success. In 2004, Folie a Deux, now a respected brand, was sold to Sutter Home/Trinchero Winery. Scott was finally positioned and ready to start his own venture, and he had the ideal partner – his wife, Jana, a wine industry veteran.
Scott Harvey Wines, the initial line of wines in the “Creative Wine Concepts” portfolio, was created out of market demand for Scott’s wines – “niche wines that over deliver.” The Scott Harvey line focuses on Scott’s roots – Zinfandel, Syrah and Barbera from the Sierra’s. Approachable, food friendly and full of luscious fruit, these wines have struck a cord in the marketplace. Scott has hit his stride with his new mantra – “Scott Harvey Wines, it’s time!” Stay tuned – this is just the beginning!
Wine Style: Red Wine
Varietal Composition: 86% Zinfandel, 12% Amador
County Syrah, 2% Amador County Port varieties
Appellation: Napa Valley
Aging: French Oak
Residual Sugar: <.4% Dry