Bradford Mountain Winery
2010 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley
What We Say
WORLDWIDE EXCLUSIVE ALERT:
The Wine Spies are the only wine merchant on the planet to be featuring today’s delicious Zinfandel. Quantities are limited and we will sell out, so be sure to act quickly.
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Boastful, bold and bursting with fruit today’s wine handily earns this special recognition. We always feature the very best wines that we can find, but when a wine really shines, we issue special alerts like this one.
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Mission Codename: Fortune Favors the Bold
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Ahead of the release of their 2010 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, send Agent Red to Bradford Mountain to infiltrate the winery and acquire all available cases for our Bradford-loving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: VML Winery
Wine Subject: 2010 Bradford Mountain Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Winemaker: Virginia Lambrix
Backgrounder: Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley is a treasure trove of great wines. Arguably, the region is best known for producing some of the finest Zinfandel in the country. For today’s wine Agent Red returned to Bradford Mountain Winery, a Wine Spies favorite. There, he was able to negotiate a small amount of their 2010 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, nearly a full month ahead of the wines general release into the wild. Quantities are limited, though, so act fast as we are certain to sell out.
Varietal 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. Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels, which are characterized by their balance and juiciness, are gaining in popularity with our Operatives.h3. Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Darkest magenta, with a darker core of deep garnet. At the rim of the glass, beautiful ruby hues catch the light. After a hearty swirl, tall columns of ultra-thin legs fall from high up on the glass. After this first round, a second round starts from very near the surface of the wine. This set of legs is far thicker and just as slow.
Smell – Dark blackberry and blueberry jam lead the way. These are closely followed by smoky black cherry, leather, dark chocolate dust, black plum and mixed sweet brown spice. As the wine opens, it also reveals subtle dried tobacco leaf and black pepper.
Feel – Soft, round and cool on entry. At the mid-palate, it takes on a plush and softly drying feel. A gradual, darkly mineral dryness spreads all around the palate, eventually drying the lips and cheeks.
Taste – Bold blackberry, black cherry, blueberry and dark leather lead the way, followed by juicy Bing cherry, Oregon black raspberry, soft cedar, subtle tobacco, sweet brown spice and a hint of flinty black pepper.
Finish – Berry fruit persist for a long time, dwindling as cedar, spice tobacco and black pepper take even longer to fully tail off. At the very end, flinty pepper lingers as the palate slowly dries.
Conclusion – First, please note that today’s wine will sell out. Last year we featured a previous vintage of this wine – and it set a record, becoming our best-selling Zinfandel at that time. Today’s 2010 Bradford Mountain Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel is every bit as great as that wine, with most on our tasting panel declaring it to be even better. With more berry fruit than the 2007, this wine also posses more greater balance, with flavors of leather, tobacco, spice and soft cedar rounding out the palate. On the nose, the wine is simply bursting with berry and sweet spice. Despite its relative youth, this wine is ready to drink, now. Be sure to stock up, though, as this may be your only chance to get your hands on this fantastic, highly recommended wine.
Wine Spies vineyard Check:
The location of the Bradford Mountain Winery vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Aromas of blackberry jam, black cherry, vanilla bean, with hints of espresso, lavender flowers and black pepper. On the palate, juicy, rich and supple. The dominant flavor is of mixed berry pie, with hints of black licorice and baking spices.
Production of this wine was limited to less than 600 cases. The wine is beautifully balanced with the dominant rich, jammy, cherry and raspberry fruit flavors of Zinfandel framed with the slightly more dark expresso, blackberry notes of Petite Sirah and oak nuances of shortbread cookies and vanilla bean. It is juicy, mouth coating and supple on the palate.
About The Wines:
There is a detectable mountain influence in these wines, while at the same time a tempering from the ocean, permitted by the site’s elevation. The soil is red, volcanic, and rugged, and the growing season unusually long here. While Bradford Mountain frequently becomes its own weather-station, often hosting weather patterns very different from those on the valley floor, it has enough inherent Dry Creek-ness to give Zinfandel and Syrah the mark of this renowned appellation: sweet herbs, tar, and aromatic, oriental-like spice.
About The Winery:
Bradford Mountain wines were born out of the Hambrecht family’s belief that there was something beguilingly distinct about the fruit from their Dry Creek Valley vineyards. Planted on a hilltop plateau 1100 feet above the valley floor, the vines produce a low-yielding crop (2 ¼ tons per acre) of intensely flavored grapes with an irresistible wild, brambly flair. Once sold to some of California’s most celebrated wineries, the fruit deserved to be bottled independently, and given the opportunity to tell the story of this terroir.
In 1998, ground was broken to build the Bradford Mountain Winery. A small, simple building was erected. Money was spared on architecture, and spent prudently on the best equipment available for boutique-scale winemaking: square, jacketed, open-topped tanks, a pneumatic overhead punch-down system and 168 carefully chosen barrels. The first fruit, 56 tons, was crushed in October 1998. Our Viticulture team has experimented widely with vinification and viticulture to best augment the uniqueness of the site. The very essence of the wines from Bradford Mountain is merely a reflection of the health and vigor of the vineyards. Thus we have developed an organic viticulture program to produce the finest fruit possible. After much tasting and a careful culling, the first vintage produced 1837 cases of wine. The Winery continues to evolve and develop small lots of artisan wines.
There is both a detectable mountain influence, as well as a tempering effect from the Pacific Ocean only 15 miles to the west. The soil is red, volcanic and rugged, the growing season unusually long. The location of Bradford Mountain in the Dry Creek Valley provides the wines with the characteristics that are the mark of this famous appellation: sweet herbs, tar, plums and aromatic, Asian-like spice. However, due to the elevation from the valley floor, Bradford Mountain is definitely host to its own mesoclimate, often seeing weather patterns very different from those in the valley below, thus creating a much lower yielding yet intensely flavorful crop.
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley