What We Say 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel
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Mission Codename: ¡Viva la Revolución!
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure a limited allocation of the Wine Guerrilla’s Clopton Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel, for our Zin-loving operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Wine Guerrilla
Wine Subject: 2009 Clopton Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel – Russian River Valley
Backgrounder: 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, Starry Night’s winemaker selected the best old-vine grapes from a number of the Russian River’s best vineyards, many of which have been planted for nearly a century. The Russian River Valley is ideally suited for growing red grape varietals. Its early morning fog and coastal breezes result in a cooler climate than the neighboring wine growing regions. At 100+ years, today’s wine springs forth from some of oldest noted vines in the region.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – From its dark cherry core, the wine lightens slightly toward the edges, where a thin band of lighter magenta rings the glass. When swirled, the wine shows springy surface that settles quickly, leaving behind crooked, wine-stained legs
Smell – Perfumed and lush, with crush violets, black plum, black cherry, blueberry and blackberry. These deep fruit aromatics mingle with old vine black pepper, and earthen bramble. After some hearty swirling, aromas of toasty oak, soft cedar and brown spice join in.
Feel – Cool and fast on the initial attack. Then, the wine settles on the mid-palate, where it adds a soft and slightly grippy dryness that spreads all around the mouth. Very fine tannins and a bright acidity both support the old vine flavors of the wine, while allowing the fruit to really shine through.
Taste – Delicious and balanced, with black and red fruit in equal proportion. Big black cherry, juicy blackberry, tart black plum skin, stewed plum and blueberry mix with red cherry, raspberry, cassis and tart red cherry. On the tail end, dusty bramble, dried mushroom, brown spice and softly toasted oak add old vine character.
Finish – Long and very flavorful, with bold dark fruit that gradually yields to bright cherry, earth and bramble. At the very end, soft spice and black pepper punctuate the delicious flavors of the wine.
Conclusion – A juicy and delicious wine with great of red and black fruit, balanced against the earthy character of a traditional Old Vine Zinfandel. Great aromatics had our tasting panel swirling and sniffing, long before sipping. When we did finally taste the wine, there were smiles all around. With juicy and jammy flavors, earthiness and soft spice, this is a wine that is as great a solo-sipper as it is paired with your favorite BBQ or bold pasta dish. Be sure to join the revolution, dear Operative. This is one rebellion we Wine Spies can really get behind!
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What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
89 Points – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California – A big, but not overdone bottling ripe-berry fruit to spare, this keenly is the most complete and compelling Wine Guerilla efforts under review. balanced with neatly placed acids, rich, it never comes close to being tures Zinfandel’s juicy aspects and spicy complexity as well, and it like now and the promise to evolve time.
91 Points – Snooth – This is decidedly broad array of savory tones. Forest mushroom, toasted nuts, leather, game, berry fruit all come together compellingly. and sweet on entry, but rich and wooly and depth. This is a bit unruly but fresh, with great red and blue fruits nins are so fine they are almost unnoticeable, succulent core of fruit to take center on the short side with a fresh wash of finale. This is all about the old-vine atypical, it’s very engaging.
About This Wine:
This wine hails from the very old and extremely low yield Clopton Vineyard on Starr Rd. in Windsor owned by Cindy and Bob Clopton. Wine Guerrilla found this vineyard because Cindy works at one of our favorite lunch spots in Healdsburg, Zin Restaurant. One day in conversation the fact that she owned this unique Old Vine Zin vineyard came up. We then jumped at the opportunity to get this great fruit, especially because it is a field blend on Zinfandel and Alacante Bouchet. Bob and Cindy had not sold the fruit for a couple of years and we needed to do some work to get the vineyard performing again. We hired a couple of guys in Haz-Mat suits to get rid of all the poison oak in the vineyard and then, as they say, the rest is history!
About Wine Guerrilla:
Wine Guerrilla is a hero to those who seek wines of unabashed uniqueness and character. Wherever proud zinfandel grapes are oppressed and the taste buds of consumers are in peril, Wine Guerrilla is there.
The name, “Wine Guerrilla,” reflects a unique approach to winemaking and marketing. Having begun as a broker of fine small-production artisinal wines, Wine Guerrilla brings together a vision of a reasonably priced premium wine with a passion for California’s native grape, zinfandel, a knowledge of the Sonoma region and existing relationships with many of the county’s best-known growers. The result is something special. Wine Guerrilla operates on a singular mission: Finding the very best zinfandel grapes, and crafting wines worthy of the grape’s unique characteristics, and introducing those wines to the public. And eliminating the final barrier to instant wine-drinking gratification, Wine Guerrilla wines are bottled with easy-to-open screwtops.
Blend: A field blend of 79% Zinfandel & 21% Alacante Bouchet
Vineyard: Clopton Vineyard, 100+ year old vines.
Production: 120 Cases Produced.