Mission Codename Buzzin' all over me
Labor Day! BBQ! ZINFANDEL!
Double the 95 points. Best price anywhere. A cult Zin that’s the stuff of immortal stories and dreams. This Zin went to graduate school, got a degree, and is here to school you on an entirely new dimension you didn’t realize existed.
Speaking of anywhere… you won’t find it at your local shop. Or on any websites.
Wine Spies is your EXCLUSIVE source for their very last vintage!
We started offering these wines in 2020 and everyone sells out. The hype is REAL. One taste may send all other Zins into a ho-hum, slumgum, plonky abyss. These 2018s are as good as ever, cementing them on the Mount Rushmore of Zinfandel. Actually, they might occupy more than one spot…
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate rated hundreds of 2018 Zinfandels. Among the Top 10 scored, there’s only one winery that took 3 spots, with all they make. You guessed it.
They were “stunned by the quality of these 2018s, Beekeeper is a must-taste for any Zinfandel lover” reciting that: “This relatively new project from co-winemakers Ian Blackburn and Clay Mauritson began in 2008 when Mauritson, a seventh-generation grower, offered Blackburn some of his family’s fruit from the Rockpile appellation in the Dry Creek Valley. Zinfandel became the flagship varietal, and the wines are crafted at Mauritson’s facilities.”
Crafted they are, to perfection by educator/somm extraordinaire Ian, and superstar winegrower/president of Sonoma County Vintners, Clay. This Reserve is a compilation of 2/3 Rockpile fruit from their two top vineyards in that cult Zin appellation, and 1/3 from Montecillo high atop Sonoma Valley. The result is a Zin, as they say, “a little more SHOWY” than the Secret Stones and Montecillo single vineyards. Turn up the bramble and the spice a couple of notches, add some wild berry preserve undertones, a dash of umami, and the essential dusty fine cocoa powder tannins, expand the finish for over a minute, and voila, you get this!
They’re one-of-a-kind, no doubt. Always boasting mega scores across vintages. And held in a pantheon of the highest quality alongside legends like Turley, Bedrock, Carlisle, Martinelli… Yet for under $50 no other varietal, place, or winery can deliver what we’ve got here. Put one up blind against the finest reds your budget allows, and let your imagination go wild when things unfold.
At the full $85, this is a value hard to beat by any standard. With this almost BOGO deal, it’s a candidate for the wine deal of the century, and that is not an overstatement.
We got a tad more of this beauty than their other two but will it BEE enough? The buzz says no.
95 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“Beekeeper Cellars is a relatively new project from co-winemakers Ian Blackburn and Clay Mauritson. The brand began in 2008 when Mauritson, a seventh-generation grower, offered Blackburn some of his family’s fruit from the Rockpile appellation in the Dry Creek Valley. Zinfandel became the flagship varietal, and the wines are crafted at Mauritson’s facilities. I was stunned by the quality of these Zinfandels, from the elegant, mineral-driven Hillside Reserve to the powerful Secret Stones cuvée. Beekeeper is a must-taste for any Zinfandel lover. The 2018 Hidden Hillside Reserve Zinfandel contains 4% Petite Sirah. Medium ruby-purple, the nose is perfumed and layered, offering scents of blueberry preserves, apricot, licorice, cracked pepper and potpourri. The full-bodied palate is grainy and fresh, with restrained, mineral-driven fruits and a flourish of spicy accents on the long finish. It deserves another year or two in the cellar. Drink 2023-2033.”
95 Points – Jeb Dunnuck
“The 2018 Zinfandel Hidden Hillside Reserve is a blend of vineyards (56% from the GT Vineyard in Rockpile, 34% from Montecillo, and 10% from Madrone Spring Vineyard). Aged 15 months in French oak, it offers a touch more blue fruits as well as terrific cigar, peppery herbs, orange blossom, spice, and cedar-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied and wonderfully balanced, with more structure than the other releases, it’s another brilliant Zinfandel that can be drunk today or cellared for over a decade. Drink 2021-2031.”
What the Winery Says
2018 'Hidden Hillside' Reserve Zinfandel
- Clay Mauritson, Ian Blackburn, Emma Kudritzki
- 96% Zinfandel, 4% Petite Sirah
- Sonoma County, California
- 66% Rockpile (56% GT, 10% Madrone Spring), 34% Montecillo (Sonoma Valley)
- 15 months
- 100% French oak (20% new)
- 7 barrels made