What We Say 2008 'Hillside' Paso Robles Zinfandel
THANKSGIVING SHIPPING ALERT:
Today’s wine will reach you in time for your Thanksgiving festivities!
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s Zinfandel is a fantastic wine, easily earning this special alert – which we issue whenever a featured wine rises above our already-high standards for the wines that we bring you.
SECRET SAVINGS ALERT:
Subscribe to our Daily Dispatch (above) and you’ll always know what our Top Secret coupon code of the day is. Every day we issue a new members-only code that entitles you to have Ground Shipping included on orders of six or more bottles and, sometimes, an added discount!
Mission Codename: Discovery Hill
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Maloy O’Neill, in Paso Robles, and abscond with an ample allotment of Shannon O’Neill’s 2008 Windy Hill Zinfandel. In time for Thanksgiving shipping, procure as many cases as possible for our eager Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Maloy O’Neill
Wine Subject: 2008 Hillside Zinfandel – Paso Robles
Winemaker: Shannon O’Neill
Backgrounder: Paso Robles has long been established as a wine producing region that give other California regions a run for their money. With a climate and soils that make for perfect growing conditions for grapes, it is no wonder. Winemakers in Paso are a somewhat unique breed, often declaring themselves to be the renegades of Cali wine. A meeting with Shannon O’Neill, winemaker and owner of Maloy O’Neill affirms this sentiment. A warm, excited and deeply passionate man, Shannon makes wines that reflect his personality. Join Agent Red as he visits Shannon – and returns with an ample cache of Shannon’s 2008 Windy Hill Zinfandel – for our O’Neill-loving Operatives.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Red, plummy hues, with a slightly brickish, slightly opaque core. On swirling, branching legs from mid-way up the glass, before they move slowly downward.
Smell – Sweet black cherry candy, sweet blackberry and raspberry mix with woody spice, sweet tobacco, cocoa powder and sweet cedar. As the wine breaths a little, additional aromas of softly toasted oak and black pepper emerge.
Feel – Soft, smooth and round, on entry. Then, the wine becomes grippy at the mid-palate, where additional texture and complexity emerge. After a moment, a soft dryness spreads from the center of the palate, outward. Chewy tannins and an easy acidity contribute balance.
Taste – Dark and concentrated, with black cherry, spicy blackberry, plum jam and cinnamon lead the way. Under these, notes of cocoa, India black tea leaf, sweetwoods, tomato stem and toasted oak add complexity.
Finish – Very long and packed with dark flavor. Black fruit is supported and sustained by cocoa, earth and cinnamon spice.
Conclusion – Today marks the twelfth time we have featured Maloy O’Neill wines over the last five years. Why do we show a Maloy wine every couple of months? Simple… We love their wines! Today’s single vineyard 2008 Hillside Zinfandel is a fantastic wine that our tasting panel really fell for. With delicious dark fruit balanced against earthen and spiced characteristics, this medium-bodied wine is complex, delicious packed with flavor. Enjoy this wine with your holiday meals, this winter, but be sure to save a few bottles for your Springtime Barbecues!
What the Winery Says
Maloy O'Neill Vineyards
About This Wine:
Our experimental “Hillside” is at O’Neill Vineyards on Creston Road. It was planted with eight different varietals, specifically to carry out vineyard and winemaking experiments. All the vines on our Hillside Vineyard are hand farmed and hand manicured to produce the highest quality wines possible in Paso Robles. The yields at harvest are manipulated to produce no more than two tons per acre with canopy management techniques that allow the vines to concentrate all their energy to high quality fruit development. The first thing one notices in the 2008 Hillside Zinfandel is its beautiful garnet red color. The nose exhibits notes of dried rose petals, black cherry, vanilla, spice and white pepper. On the palate flavors of ripe black cherries, and blackberries, wild strawberries burst forward, followed by toasted vanilla, white pepper and orange zest. Being Zinfandel the tannins are soft and well placed behind the fruit.
About The Winery:
Maloy O’Neill Vineyards is dedicated to making the highest quality wines in limited quantities while maintaining superior one-to-one client relationships. Through this dedication, the family belives in and aspires to providing a legacy for future generations of the Maloy O’Neill Clan. Maloy O’Neill is a family owned and operated vineyard and winery located in California’s beautiful Central Coast region.
We are dedicated to producing estate-bottled varietals and site-specific wines from our vineyards and other selected vineyards in the Paso Robles area. These vineyards have consistently produced high quality, intensely fruity vintages. Premium wine handcrafted in small lots is our main focus in delivering a unique product to our consumers. Cabernet Sauvignon is our flagship variety, but other premium varietals include Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Muscat Canelli, and Malvasia Bianca.
Making Premium wines has long been the passion of winemaker, Shannon O’Neill. Years of education and experimentation have culminated in the MOV wine collection now available. Shannon is able to focus on small lot artistry utilizing modern wine technology to maximize the potential of the vineyards.The winemaker’s hard work and craftsmanship has been noticed. MOV has been quickly recognized for red wines. We have won multiple Gold and Silver medals for each of vintages from prestigious North American wine competitions.
O’Neill Vineyards has been producing high quality grapes in the Paso Robles area since 1982. We have been a local supplier of grapes for many wineries in the area, as well as wineries in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake County. What started out as a 20 acre experiment in 1982, has now grown into 150 acres planted with nine varieties. O’Neill Vineyards has always been family owned and operated, dedicated to producing only the highest quality fruit for our wines and those who buy our fruit. Cabernet Sauvignon is why O’Neill Vineyards has become so well known, but we also currently grow Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Muscat Canelli, and Malvasia Bianca.
The vineyard site consists of over 180 acres, with vines spread across several different soil types and microclimates. Although it has taken years of fine-tuning, many improvements have been made in the vineyard to maximize these different conditions. In 1997 we switched to a vertical shoot position trellis system, and employed canopy management techniques such as leaf, shoot, and cluster thinning to reduce yields and open up the canopy. Soil and water management has also become a top priority. Paso Robles area soils commonly need annual amendments and pH adjustments in order to maintain proper nutrient uptake and overall vine health. The result has been a dramatic increase in quality reflected in the wines from these grapes. There is also a five-acre experimental vineyard on the property, dedicated to varietal, rootstalk, and clonal experimentation. The grapes from these vines are used for small-scale winemaking experiments as well.
Production: 180 Cases