California: Sonoma County
What We Say
WORLD EXCLUSIVE PREMIER ALERT:
We are thrilled to be the first – and only – wine merchant in the country to be selling Armida’s flagship 2009 PoiZin today. Don’t ask us how we do it…
Today’s wine represents an exceptional value, earning it this QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) alert.
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Mission Codename: Spill not the morning
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate Armida winery and secure a limited allocation of their coveted PoiZin Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Armida Winery
Wine Subject: 2009 PoiZin Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Winemaker: Brandon Lapides
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. The Dry Creek Valley, where this Zinfandel’s grapes are are grown are characterized by their bright and balanced flavors, distinct minerality and spice are quite in popularity with our Operatives.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet while the wine sits still. Swirl it, and iridescent burgundy hues are viewed through the walls of the glass. The wine has a soft and springy look to it and it settles quickly. Before the wine settles, completely, skinny wine stained tears begin to form hi up on the glass wall.
Smell – Very lush and heady, with a bold rush of dark cherry, earthy bramble, strawberry and stewed fig leaping from the glass. As the wine airs out, additional aromas of spiced plum, pink peppercorn, and dark dried flower petals follow on.
Feel – Warm and soft on entry, the wine has a round feel to it, at first. Plush tannins lead to a very full-bodied feeling that seems to spread from the center-palate, outward. After a moment, the wine coats the entire palate, giving it a crush velvet feel that becomes more pronounced as a mineral-laden dryness gradually spreads throughout the palate.
Taste – Initially very dark and tart on the palate, this wine leads with black plum, blackberry and black cherry. Then, a very pronounced Bing cherry appears, bringing with it cracked pepper, weedy bramble and dark chocolate.
Finish – The wine starts off dark, with a tartness that yields to sweeter flavors as the medium-long finish is sustained by the red fruits, minerals and peppercorn spice.
Conclusion – Each vintage of this special wine seems to be better than the last. We have had to good fortune to have worked with Armida through successive vintages of this wine and we love it. For its relatively low price, this wine delivers big value. Especially with this vintage, as our spies in the field tell us that the fruit for this vintage was lower-yielding – and higher in price than past vintages. And, yet, Armida has maintained the same price, earning the wine our special QPR ALERT for outstanding value.
With bold, dark flavors, a luscious nose and an intriguing feel, this 2009 PoiZin delivers an overall wine-drinking experience that is scary good. If you love bold, flavorful, spicy, powerhouse Zin’s, this wine will make you very happy. Pair with your favorite BBQ or enjoy it all on its own.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Brandon Lapides
WINE EDUCATION: BS. Fermentation Science University of California at Davis
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Internships: Testarossa Vineyards, RH Phillips, Brancott Cellars; Assistant Winemaker: Peachy Canyon Winery, Dutton Goldfield Winery
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Lets bring back the old school philosophies, using as little new technology as possible.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Fill up my cup, Mazeltov.” – Black Eyed Peas.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Brandon. We are thrilled to be showing your 2009 PoiZin Zinfandel today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
BRANDON LAPIDES: My pleasure! Tell me, how were you able to secure the world exclusive on our 2009 PoiZin?! Nice move!
RED:I could tell you, Brandon, but… you know… Tell me, was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
BRANDON: Growing up I was mystified that when our whole family would get together, there would be many lengthy discussions about different wines. My curiosity then led to my eventual love of wine.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
BRANDON: ’61 Latour. My grandfather had enough foresight to start buying Bordeaux wines in the late 60’s. I have been fortunate enough to have a few bottles over a span of 10 years. The wine has been the only wine that I have tasted that has ever lived up to its hype. The balance and complexities in the ’61 Latour after 40+ years of aging influenced my winemaking to try to have as much longevity in my own wines.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
BRANDON: Our 2009 Poizin Zinfandel is our flagship wine at Armida Winery. We buy Zinfandel fruit from seven different unique vineyards throughout Sonoma County. Using a variety of winemaking techniques and a variety of Zinfandel from different climates and soil types, allows for a complex, but approachable wine. We aged the wine for 16 months in 80% American oak barrels and the rest of the barrels coming from France or Eastern Europe. The Poizin has classic flavors of raspberry, blueberry and a pleasurable finish of rhubarb pie and spices.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
BRANDON: This wine is perfect to pair with making an Italian dinner. Open up the bottle and pour yourself a glass as you begin to prepare your ingredients, pair the next glass with mushroom raviolis in red sauce, finish the bottle alongside chocolate truffles.
RED: In your opinion, what makes Sonoma County fruit so special?
BRANDON: Sonoma County is so special for Zinfandel due to the variability of climate, soil and topography. We truly have the whole “spice box” within one county. Gorgeous fruit flavors from the Dry Creek Valley, vivid acidity from the Russian River Valley, structure and minerality from Chalk Hill and silky tannins from the Sonoma Valley.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
BRANDON: We are busy topping our wines and making sure that our wines are behaving properly as they continue to age. Maintenance and cleaning of our tanks and equipment is also taking up our time. We are also checking on all of our vineyards to make sure that the crop is progressing well.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
BRANDON: I always recommend that consumers accompany our wines with food. Our wines pair well with a variety of foods and should be consumed with family and friends.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
BRANDON: I would love to invite any of your readers to come visit our vineyards, winery and tasting room right outside of Healdsburg. We have a beautiful patio with an incredible view overlooking our vineyards and manicured gardens. There is also a bocce ball court to test your skills after a glass of wine.
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 Armida Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
A lush, delicious and “serious” wine in a fun package! The nose is fruit driven with fresh plum, bing cherry, spicy peppercorn and zinberry. The mouthfeel is soft with a hint of milk chocolate, sweet oak, and a long vanilla finish. The deep color and firm structure are enhanced by the addition of the Petite Sirah and the firm tannins softened by moderate oak. Enjoy this poizin with caution; it is The Wine to Die for!
About The Winery:
Hello folks! We purchased controlling interest in Armida Winery from Robert Frugoli in 1994. Wow, it is difficult to believe more than 15 years have gone by since we began this grand adventure. On little more than hope, faith, and a little help from our local friendly bank, we jumped into the “family owned and operated” wine business with both feet. Bruce arrived having just sold his super successful home furnishings business in San Jose, and Steve brought his experience including stints as President of Buena Vista Winery and COO of Freemark Abbey Winery. Bruce’s entrepreneurial spirit combined with Steve’s wine industry knowledge, and a whole lot of hard work, has transformed Armida Winery from a sleepy little winery producing pretty good wines to a much more lively place focusing on ultra premium, hand crafted, single vineyard wines from the top vineyards of neighboring Dry Creek, Russian River and Alexander Valleys.
We make over ten different wines showcasing some of the very best vineyards in Sonoma County including Maple Vineyard Zinfandel, Flora Ranch.
Zinfandel, Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir, Black Kite Pinot Noir, Bacigalupi Pinot Noir, Castelli-Knight Pinot Noir, Parmellee-Hill Pinot Noir, Stuhlmuller Chardonnay, Keefer Chardonnay and Durell Vineyard Chardonnay. From our seven-acre estate vineyard we produce Il Campo (“Field Blend”), a delicious combination of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. We also produce “POIZIN” (Zinfandel), “The Wine to Die For,” and “ANTIDOTE,” a beautiful Pinot Grigio in cobalt blue half bottles.
Over the years we have met so many interesting people. Many of our best customers are our friends and we enjoying seeing them and being able to spend time with them. We don’t make a whole lot of wine, preferring to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. As such, practically all of our wine is sold directly to members of our wine club and those of you who visit us at the winery. Our wine club always gets first crack at our smallest production wines, a privilege they seem to enjoy very much! We invite you to drop by here any time between 11am and 5pm to try our wines and enjoy the ambiance of our hillside property and views. If so inclined you might want to bring along lunch to enjoy on the large patio overlooking the Russian River Valley, or perhaps play Bocce Ball on the court above the pond. We take our wines very seriously, but once they are “made,” we make sure to have a whole lot of fun.
On any given day you will find us working in the tasting room along side Janet or Kristina, tending the garden, fixing something (maintenance is non ending!), doing office work (not our favorite) or helping wine maker Jessica and cellar master PW during harvest. We will be sure to say HI when we see you!
Harvest Dates: From September 24th through October 17th 2009.
Grape Varieties: 88% Zinfandel, 12% Petite Sirah
Barrel Aging: 16 Months in 2/3 American Oak and 1/3 French Oak
Percentage of New Oak: 30% new oak, 40% one-year, 30% two-year
Total Acidity: .61 g/100mL
Residual Sugar: Dry
Number of Cases Bottled: 3,461
Bottling Date: February 7-8, 2011