Clif Family Winery

2007 Gary's Improv Napa Valley Zinfandel


California: Napa Valley

Offer Expired:May 02, 2011 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price

What We Say


Today’s wine is an exceptional value, earning it this special QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) alert.


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Mission Codename: The Improvised

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to Clif Family Winery, and secure an ample allotment of their newest Zinfandel.

be the first wine merchant – anywhere – to sell their much-anticipated 2007 Zinfandel. Before it is too late, procure an exclusive allotment for our Operatives, as the winery sells out each year.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Clif Family Winery

Wine Subject: 2007 Napa Valley Zinfandel

Winemaker: Sarah Gott

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.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark red plum-hued, with a clear but darker heart of dark garnet. A fat ring of pure Burgundy runs around the edge of the glass. After swirling the wine, thick tears that are wine-stained, move very slowly down the glass.

Smell – Perfumed and lush, the wine leads with candied cherry and spiced blackberry. As the wine opens up, dark raspberry, cigar box, bramble and soft spices, including clove and black pepper.

Feel – Cool and light-weight, then quickly mouth coating and softly dry. A bright acidity combines with a chalky mineral dryness. These carry dark flavors through to the finish.

Taste – Big and jammy, with sweet young blackberry, black cherry juice, blueberry preserve, cranberry and cassis tout in front. Underneath, young strawberry, boysenberry and soft eucalyptus make an appearance. As flavors ease away, hints of clove, caramel and black pepper remain.

Finish – Medium-Long with an earthy black fruit flavor at first. This gives way to a dry and softly chalky minerality and gentle spice.

Conclusion – We’ve shown Clif wines since 2008, and we are so pleased to see how much their entire range of wines have progressed. This 2007 Gary’s Improv Zinfandel is a juicy, aromatic Napa Valley treat. Easily approachable and fun to drink on its own, we can’t help but recommend this wine as a tasty, palate-cleansing companion for your favorite BBQ. The wine is bright and juicy, and its dark fruit is interesting and delicious. Ready to drink now, we are recommending that you hold on to a bottle or two, for a year – or two!

Mission Report:

What follows is a retransmission of an earlier mission to Clif Family Winery, in which we are introduced to Agent Green. Below you will find references to prior mission activities, including efforts made by The Wine Spies and Clif to reduce our respective carbon footprint:

Today we are pleased to introduce you to our newest Wine Spies Agent. Please join me in welcoming Agent Green!

AGENT RED: Agent Green, it is my distinct pleasure to introduce you to our faithful Operatives today. Welcome aboard!

AGENT GREEN: Whew! Thanks, Red! The vetting process was brutal. I had no idea that the process would be so exhaustive. That said, I am so pleased to join The Wine Spies.

RED: We’re glad to have you. Tell us about yourself, and about your unusual agent name. Our Agents usually have a codename that matches a varietal. I’m not aware of any Green wines.

GREEN: I am the new Wine Spies Agent in charge of environmental concerns here at Central Command. Its my job to make sure that we, ourselves, are an environmentally mindful organization – but I am also in charge of seeking out environmental organizations that need our help.

RED: Right, you’re bringing wineries to the party as well, right?

GREEN: Indeed. Such is the case with today’s wine offering! For every order that we process today, Clif Family Winery and The Wine Spies will include a Global Cooling Tag. The tags offset more than 300 pounds of Carbon Dioxide emissions.

RED: And who pays for the Tags?

GREEN: The Wine Spies and Clif winery share the cost!

RED: So, our Operatives pay nothing?

GREEN: Nope. Our Operatives get a great wine – at 20% off – and we purchase the Carbon offset in their name. Anonymously, of course. We never blow our Operative’s cover!

RED: How often can we expect to hear from you, Agent Green?

GREEN: Hopefully a bunch!

RED: And should wineries and environmental organizations get in touch with you?

GREEN: Absolutely! I invite them to get in touch. I also invite anyone that wants to help spread the word about our initiatives. Bloggers, activists, concerned citizens and others, should contact me at

RED: Thank you, Agent Green. On behalf of the founding agents, Agent White and myself, welcome aboard!

GREEN: Thanks Red!

/end session

Agent Green reporting:

Greetings, Operatives! I am very happy to be the newest member of the Wine Spies team. Please feel free to reach out to me if you want our help with your environmental cause. If you want to work with us to promote our causes, let me know how you want to help. At the risk of sounding very cliche, together, we can make a difference.

- Agent Green

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Clif Family Winery and Farm can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

Awards & Accolades:

89 PointsWine Enthusiast – 89 Points – “Intricate flavors of blackberries, cherries, raspberries and honey-nut granola mark this deliciously dry wine, spiced with exotic cinnamon, star anise and pepper. It’s very good, although it could have a firmer structure. Ready now.”

About This Wine:

The 2007 vintage was an exceptional year for Zinfandel. Moderate weather throughout the growing season allowed the fruit to ripen fully and evenly without getting too high in sugar.

Our 2007 Zinfandel comes from a famed 15-year-old dry-farmed vineyard located on an alluvial fan just north of St. Helena. The vineyard has many rounded river cobbles with good soil drainage. The fruit comes from three different blocks within the vineyard, each with different rootstock.

The wine was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months.

About The Winery:

You may know us as the people behind Clif Bar & Company. We are the makers of CLIF BAR®, LUNA® and other nutritious, organic foods and drinks. Our passion for food comes out in our convenient, portable food products. However, life is not only about portability and convenience.

We started Clif Bar & Company. in 1992 with a passion for food, family and adventure. This passion continues in all aspects of our life. We enjoy working in the kitchen preparing delicious artisan foods and sharing meals with family and friends. Wine plays a big role in these occasions.

This lifestyle and our interest in wine led our family to the Napa Valley. We purchased a piece of property with plenty of land to raise horses, goats and chickens and to eventually plant our own vineyards.

In our busy lives, Clif Bar Family Winery & Farm reminds us that we need to slow down. We hope our wines become a part of your own adventure and remind you to slow down and find pleasure in everyday life.

Gary Erickson & Kit Crawford
Owners, Clif Bar Family Winery & Farm

Technical Analysis:

Blend: 100% Zinfandel

Alcohol: 14.9%

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