David Noyes Wines

2007 Sonoma Valley Zinfandel

Zinfandel •Puccini Vineyard

California: Sonoma County: Sonoma Valley

Offer Expired:Feb 11, 2011 at 11:59 pm
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Today’s wine delivers a drinking experience well above its price, earning it this special QPR (Quality to Price Ration) alert.


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Mission Codename: La bohème

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Requests have been pouring in, for another great Zinfandel from David Noyes. Secure David’s Old Vine Zinfandel, from Sonoma Valley’s famous Puccini Vineyard

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: David Noyes Wines

Wine Subject: 2007 Zinfandel – Puccini Vineyard – Sonoma Valley

Winemaker: David Noyes

Backgrounder: Since 1970, winemaker David Noyes has made fine wines, all around the world, and for some incredible wineries. Early in his career, David made wine at Ridge and Kunde Estate. In 2006, David left Kunde to launch his own label. Today, as then, David is especially well-known for his delicious Zinfandels and Pinot Noirs, and we are proud to bring you David’s wonderful 2007 Sonoma Valley Zinfandel, made from vines that were planted more than 100 years ago, in 1906, in the Puccini Vineyard. The Puccini Vineyard, planted on a steep hillside at 750’, is just 1-acre in size. It produces elegant and delicious Zinfandel. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below.

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. Sonoma Valley Old Vine Zinfandels, which are characterized by their refinement and balance, are extraordinarily popular with our Operatives.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Light ruby hues with a slightly darker core. The wine is perfectly clear, through and through. At the edges, color falls off to a pretty pink. Legs start high up on the glass, moving slowly at first, then streaking downward.

Smell – Sweet cherry and spice candy sit stop blackberry, raspberry and cinnamon. Under these, hints of fresh salad herbs, soft oak and subtlest cedar.

Feel -Soft and round on the attack, then quickly drying as the wine passes across the mid-palate. Soft white pepper and high acidity carry flavors around the palate, moving in tandem with the spreading dryness that extends out to the lips and cheeks.

Taste – Bright and loaded with red fruit, this wine starts with cherry, sweet cranberry, young strawberry and cassis. Sweet herbs, sweetwoods, bramble, blueberry and plum skin round out the lush flavors.

Finish – Long and bright, sweet and tart, with red fruit that leads to white pepper and bright cranberry.

Conclusion – David Noyes scores another direct hit with this delicious old vine Zinfandel from the tiny Puccini Vineyard in the Sonoma Valley. David’s 2007 Zinfandel – Puccini Vineyard – Sonoma Valley comes from Zinfandel vines that are more than 100 years old. The vines are producing wonderful fruit. David’s approach to winemaking also shines through in this wine. His ‘let mother nature guide the winemaking’ approach means that his wines are minimally handled, which leads to a very natural drinking experience. This wine is well-balanced, bright and fine, with no rough edges or over-concentration. This wine is the opposite of brash. There is plenty of flavor here, with wonderful cherry balanced against earthen flavors of bramble and sweet herbs. If you love great Zin, you are sure to love this Zin.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: David Noyes

WINE EDUCATION: Ridge Vineyards and UC Davis

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Currently making my own wine, working, consulting…

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: If it tastes good, they will drink it.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: Wish I could encapsulate the numinous quality of wine in a single sentence…glad I cannot…

FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Under my own label, 2001 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir…first commercial vintage I had a hand in…1970…oh that’s a long time ago!


AGENT RED: Greetings, David. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 Puccini Vineyard Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

DAVID: Thank you! Its good to be back with you, today.

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

DAVID: Not really, I like to say I grew up in Palo Alto during the 60’s and wine was just one of the mind and mood altering paths we all enjoyed… Wine begins in the earth—there’s nothing more grounded than farming, yet, once in the bottle its as subject to fad, fancy and folly as any item of fashion or style. I find the spectrum fascinating.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

DAVID: Both David Bennion and Paul Draper of Ridge had profound effects—the Dionysian and Apollonian, as someone said. Wine as a sensual product and an expression of earthy pleasure as well as a calling, a profession and a practice…

RED: Who do you make wine for?

DAVID: For myself, of course, but I enjoy pleasing people, so, for others…I like to make wine that I believe most people can relate to, can enjoy sensually…That said there’s also a story that appeals to the emotions and a respect for tradition and for style that can appeal to the intellect.

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

DAVID: This is an old vine zinfandel from a 100+ year old vineyard in Sonoma Valley. It’s full bodied, but relatively light in texture with lots of red cherry and raspberry fruit, a dash of vanilla and a long finish. The ‘field blend’ typical of these pre-prohibition vineyards includes Petite Sirah, Carignane, Grenache and two distinct white varietals—this mix gives the wine both a unique flavor profile and a just a touch of mystery in the play of flavors across the palate.

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

DAVID: I always like pairing zinfandel w/wild mushrooms—either sautéed on their own, or in a risotto. Roast chicken w/rosemary and garlic is another favorite!

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Puccini Vineyard so special?

DAVID: This vineyard occupies a site relatively high up on the western, (east facing) slopes of the Sonoma Valley—looking from Annadel across to Sugar Loaf State Park, for those familiar with our area—The eastern exposure ensure early sun, which wakes up the vines, but by late afternoon they fall into shade, so avoid the baking heat which is a challenge to zin. The results are both bright fruit flavor and good intensity.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

DAVID: Well we’ve put the 2010’s to bed a while ago, but they are still finishing malo-lactic and some sugar fermentation. I’m starting to consider blending for those wines that require it…but also looking to my sales work and planning trips for the year.

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

DAVID: I like, currently, the metaphor of fashion…choose your wine as you would choose your clothes, or whatever it pleases you to make a choice in…ultimately it is a all matter of choice. Please, drink my wine as an homage to the tradition of zinfandel winemaking in California, or because it tastes good!

RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

DAVID: I think I’ve said enough…

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 Winery Check:

The location of the tasting room where David’s incredible wines can be found can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

An excellent wine with a great story!

Flavors of ripe red fruits and sweet herbs with a touch of cinnamon spice—the layers of flavor, and graceful structure make this a wonderful example of old vine zin. Fermented on native yeasts, pressed a few days post dryness and aged in a mix of newer and seasoned oak barrels, there’s enough oak to give definition to the fruit and enough personality to the fruit and spice allow the wine’s individuality
to shine.

Dan Carmagni, an Italian stonecutter planted this vineyard in 1906 the year his son, Dan Jr. was born. Numerous stone walls around the property attest to both men’s hard work and skill. The site speaks eloquently to the history of winemaking in California and to the sense of balance, proportion and harmony common to the Italian immigrants of that era. I always enjoy visiting. Dan Jr. sold the property to the current owner’s father during the 1950’s but continued to live nearby. He died in 2006 at 99 years
of age.

The profession of winemaking offers many pleasures, (and not a few challenges); I count opportunity to engage intimately with the history and traditions of a particular area and people one of the most enjoyable.

Food Pairing: I love young zin with a simple
roast chicken flavored with rosemary and garlic. For dessert splash over cut strawberries with a ½ tsp of sugar and a grating of black pepper!

About The Winery:

I founded DAVID NOYES WINES to fulfill my life-long dream to provide wines that connect us to the natural world, to winemaking traditions, and that provide tangible expressions of the mysteries of time, place and transformative experience. More specifically, (and less poetically), my wines provide unique expressions of pinot noir and other varietals from selected Sonoma County vineyards. My winemaking techniques are selected to minimize handling and maximize the individuality, flavor and balance of each lot.

My winemaking career began in the cellar at Ridge Vineyards in 1970, between then and now I’ve worked in Monterey, Mendocino, Livermore, France and Sonoma Valley. In 1989 I began work with the Kunde family to create Kunde Estate Winery; I started my own label in 2001, and in 2006 left Kunde to devote myself entirely to DAVID NOYES WINES.

DAVID NOYES WINES consists of myself, my wife Grace, and our generous family and friends. We produce small lots of pinot noir, zinfandel, chardonnay and tocai friulano from selected Sonoma County vineyards located in the Russian River, Dry Creek, and Sonoma Valleys. These wines express the character of the vineyard, vintage, and my own esthetic judgment, informed through over 30 years of experience in the creation of noteworthy, well-regarded, premium wines; they offer distinct personality, balance and an excellent complement to fine cuisine.

WINEMAKING STYLE – My wines are meant to accompany food; neither wine nor food need overpower the palate to provide an overwhelming experience! The aim is for a ‘rich, balanced style’, full-flavored wines that express the best of our California fruit, yet do not overwhelm with alcohol, extract or oak. I find such wines offer more individual expression, better pairings with food and more personality.

GRACE NOYES, WOW – As the Wife of Winemaker (WOW), I am privileged to meet great folks, drink awesome wines, and eat wonderful food, in short, to have fun with my clever winemaker husband and our dynamic friends and family. Dave makes acclaimed wines and I, as WOW, provide humor and whimsy to keep us from taking ourselves too seriously. Over 96.5% I know about the enjoyment, making and marketing of wine I learned after meeting Dave in 1995.

I practice chiropractic in the Sonoma Valley, having graduated from Palmer College on Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in 1978. Donna Nassar, D.C. was my name before I married Dave in 1997. Besides my WOW and DC hats, I often don other hats including; wedding minister, artist and writer.

Technical Analysis:

Vintage: 2007

Appellation: Dry Creek Valley

Blend: 89% Zinfandel; 11% mixed varietals, Two whites, 3-4 reds… Includes 5% Petite Sirah from Dry Creek

Aging: 15 months, 33% seasoned new US oak

Bottled: December 2008

Alcohol: 15.5%

pH: 3.62

TA: 0.61 g/100ml

Longevity: 2-6 years

Released: December 2010

Production: 89 Cases

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