Scott Harvey Wines

2007 Old Vine Reserve Zinfandel


California: Amador County

Offer Expired:Jul 07, 2011 at 11:59 pm
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Mission Codename: The Prohibitionist

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to Scott Harvey Wines and procure the third successive vintage of their Operative-favorite, Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Scott Harvey Wines

Wine Subject: 2007 Zinfandel Amador County Old Vine Reserve

Winemaker: Scott Harvey


Nestled in California’s once gold-rich Sierra Foothills, the Amador County AVA (American Viticultural Area) has been called California’s last great undiscovered wine growing region. With vineyards that date back to the 19th Century, this region is home to some of the oldest vines in the state. Today, Amador County produces some of the most deeply concentrated and intense Zinfandels in the state. Today’s wine is the best example of a perfectly balanced Amador Zin that we could get our spy paws on. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Deep ruby red, with evenly concentrated color, from the core of the wine, right out to the very edge of the glass. Swirl the wine and wait as some of the slowest moving legs you have ever seen emerge from high up on the inside of the glass.

Smell – Perfumy and and floral with Amador Zin-classic aromatics of black plum, blackberry, cassis and spice. These primary aromas are underpinned by Bing cherry, strawberry, dark chocolate and subtle baking spices. After some swirling, subtle eucalyptus and licorice emerge.

Feel – Soft on entry, then immediately drying as the wine passes the tip of the tongue. This dryness spreads quickly around the palate, bringing with it a soft spiciness and black pepper minerality.

Taste – Dark and deeply concentrated with black cherry, tobacco and spice right out in front. Oak, black pepper and dark dried herbs appear, and lead to dark plum, dried fig and white pepper.

Finish – Very long and very flavorful, this wine has dark flavors that persist for a very long time. As the fruit fades, spice, pepper and dark herbs make a welcome appearance.

Conclusion – Bold and delicious, this 2007 Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel is a built in a distinctly Old World style that our tasting panel really loved. Scott Harvey is an accomplished winemaker whose skills continue to improve with each successive vintage. His Amador County Zin grows ever more popular with our Operatives and we are very proud to be able to share the last three successive vintages with you. If you have never had an Amador County Zinfandel, we recommend this one without hesitation.

Mission Report:

We were unable to secure a new interview with Scott Harvey, today. What follows is the interview we conducted with Scott when we ran the previous vintage of today’s excellent Zinfandel:


SUBJECT: Scott Harvey

DATE OF BIRTH: 3-24-54

PLACE OF BIRTH: Bamberg, Germany

WINE EDUCATION: 1975, I apprenticed at K. Fitz-Ritter Winery while attending the Weinbau Schule in Neustadt, Germany. Returned to Amador County to apprentice from Cary Gott at Montevina winery.

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Montevina, In 1978, at the age of twenty-three, Scott took over as Head Winemaker for Story Winery, worked at Santino Winery and then started Renwood winery with a partner. Later was recruited to Napa Valley to be winemaker and president of Folie a Deux.

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Being European trained, I make wines to go with food—good acidity and low pH. This is considered old world style of winemaking.


CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Named 1 of the top 10 Winemakers in CA by Dan Berger

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: 2003 Scott Harvey Reserve Barbera being selected as 3rd best Barbera in the world outside of Italy.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Wine needs to tell two stories, one I’m Zinfandel, two I’m Napa Valley”



AGENT RED: Greetings, Scott. We are thrilled to be showing your Old Vine Zinfandel today. It is one of the most delicious Zin’s I have tried of late! Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

SCOTT: Thank you for selecting one of my wines for your program.

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

SCOTT: When I was sent to Germany as an AFS exchange student in high school, I was sent to a winemaking region of Germany. On my first day there, my “German family” handed me a glass of wine. I looked out the window at the vineyards below, got my German dictionary out and said, “does this wine come from those grapes?” They said “yes, do you want to see where it’s made?” ….and the rest is history.

RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?

SCOTT: I got my basic training in Germany but my recent winemaking style I attribute to my mentor , Dr. Richard Peterson.

RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?

SCOTT: Old world style. Wines that are drunk with food.

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

SCOTT: Dr. Richard Peterson

RED: How long have you been making wine?

SCOTT: 37 years

RED: Who do you make wine for?

SCOTT: myself, my wife, and our consumers

RED: Tell me, what makes the Napa Valley so special?

SCOTT: Only 2% of the world has a Mediterranean climate like Napa Valley with the warm days and cool nights along with its unique soils and geography.

RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?

SCOTT: You need to be a very clean and neat person. 90% of winemaking is janitorial.

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

SCOTT: Harvest—and what a great one it’s turning out to be!

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

SCOTT: It’s a full bodied Napa Valley Zinfandel from 100 year old vines from one of the best appellations.

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

SCOTT: Jana’s company with BBQ’d Tri Tip

RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know

SCOTT: I like to iron my own shirts.

RED:What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?

SCOTT: Chianti

RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?

SCOTT: People drink experiences. Have fun with the wine.

RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?

SCOTT: Whatever my wife wants to drink.

RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?

SCOTT: Question: Do you have any new wines planned to make? Answer: I’d love to make a Gewürztraminer from a cold climate region.

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we
are big fans!

SCOTT: Thank, Red! Back to harvest for me. See you soon!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Jana Wines and Scott Harvey Wines can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

Produced in the old world style of balanced wine making. We want the wine to express the Amador Zinfandel terroir with good balance of fruit, French oak, structural tannins and medium alcohol.

Briary varietal Zinfandel. Deep raspberry, allspice, cloves and cinnamon, balanced with a center that is fleshy with hints of curry, and bright currants. Old Vine complexity and first growth quality.

About The Winery:

Scott Harvey Wines are made of the best varietals from the terroir of Amador County, California. These worldly wines include an Old Vine Zinfandel, a Syrah (Rhone), a Barbera (Italian) and a Port (Portuguese). Scott’s roots are in Amador County which has allowed him to develop considerable expertise with these varietals.


Growing up in California’s Sierra Mountains Region, Scott developed a keen interest in winemaking as a high school exchange student in the Rhineland Pfalz region of Germany. Scott attended California State University at Sacramento before beginning practical Enology training at Montevina Winery in Amador County. Back to Germany in 1975, he apprenticed at K. Fitz-Ritter Winery while attending the Weinbau Schule in Neustadt. Once again returning to Montevina Winery, Scott focused on all aspects of winemaking and running a winery. From farming the grapes to effectively marketing the wine, Scott solidified his knowledge and experience. In 1978, at the age of twenty-three, Scott took over as Head Winemaker for Story Winery, also in Amador County.

In 1979 Scott developed an ambitious winery plan for the Santino family. As Winemaker and General Manager of Santino Winery, Scott is credited with placing Amador County firmly on the California wine map. Crafting the best wines possible from the soils and climatic conditions of the region, Santino and later Renwood benefited from Scott’s German training and innovative style. Becoming one of the leading wineries in Amador County, and garnering critical acclaim, the wine world was paying attention. Amador County was now recognized as a world-class wine-growing appellation.

In 1996, Scott was recruited as Partner, Winemaker & President for newly purchased, Folie a Deux Winery in Napa Valley. Combining forces with Lead Partner, renowned Winemaker, Richard Peterson, Ph.D, a formidable winemaking team was launched. Scott pursued his commitment to award-winning Cabernets made from the Estate Vineyards in Napa Valley while continuing his passion for Amador County Zinfandel. Access to Scott’s original Grandpère vineyard in Amador County and close relationships with premier Amador County growers, resulted in award-winning wines all around for Folie a Deux. In addition, Scott’s creation, the “Menage a Trois” line of wines, was an instant commercial success. In 2004, Folie a Deux, now a respected brand, was sold to Sutter Home/Trinchero Winery. Scott was finally positioned and ready to start his own venture, and he had the ideal partner – his wife, Jana, a wine industry veteran.

Scott Harvey Wines, the initial line of wines in the “Creative Wine Concepts” portfolio, was created out of market demand for Scott’s wines – “niche wines that over deliver.” The Scott Harvey line focuses on Scott’s roots – Zinfandel, Syrah and Barbera from the Sierra’s. Approachable, food friendly and full of luscious fruit, these wines have struck a cord in the marketplace. Scott has hit his stride with his new mantra – “Scott Harvey Wines, it’s time!” Stay tuned – this is just the beginning!

Technical Analysis:

Vintage: 2007

Wine Type: Red Wine

Varietal: Old Vine Zinfandel

Appellation: Amador County



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