Stephen & Walker
2011 Russian River Valley Zinfandel
California: Russian River Valley
Nancy Walker, we love you! We don’t know how you did it with this wine, but you’ve crafted a wine that drinks like it has the sort of maturity of a wine with more bottle age than today’s lovely wine possesses.
Just in time for Thanksgiving shipping, we are very pleased to welcome Stephen & Walker back to Wine Spies’ HQ with their fantastic 2011 Stephen & Walker Russian River Valley Zinfandel. Juicy, bright, complex and delicious, this approachable wine wine is an easy choice for your Thanksgiving table. Order, today, and we’ll get it to you in time for Thanksgiving. Of course, we’d recommend that you also keep some on hand for the rest of the Holidays. And next Summer’s BBQs. And beyond!
Crystalline burgundy edges darken to a deep garnet at the center of the wine. After swirling the wine, tall, chubby columns of wine-colored tears move slowly downward.
Sweet candied black cherry, wild strawberry, leather and sweet spice jump up to greet you on the nose. These are soon joined by berry bramble, dried violet, hard leather and black pepper.
Bright and juicy, with dark fruit and earthy goodness presenting in equal proportion. Black cherry, black currant and blackberry liquor mix with dried black flower petals, dark spice, black pepper, dark chocolate and subtle dried earth.
Very long, leading with dark fruit that gradually yields to spice, earth and black pepper. at the very end, the palate is left with a plush, dry feeling that spreads gradually to all corners of the mouth.
What the Winery Says
Our newly released Russian River Zinfandel comes from the Salzgeber Chan family vineyard that is tucked back in the hills west of Healdsburg next to the Mac Murray Ranch. The Zinfandel is in true Russian River style and has bright red berry fruits, good acid and firm structure.
There is a brilliant clarity of fruit, married with lovely butterscotch- and vanilla creme, followed by a delicate white pepper spice. The finish is long and smooth and inviting for another glass. The wine was aged in 100% new French oak for 9 months and has developed a lovely richness to compliment the red berry fruit from this region.
Production: 250 cases
About the Winery
We are a small, artisanal family owned winery located in the heart of the California wine country in Healdsburg, California. We have spent most of our lives in the vineyards and wineries of California, so it was a natural progression to start our own winery in 2004. Our three partners: Nancy Walker, Tony Stephen and Irv Bush collectively have half a century of experience growing wine grapes and making fine wines.
We are proud to bring you wines made from the remarkable vineyards we tend with our growers in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Monterey Counties. Every bottle of wine we produce has our commitment and unique perspective: to bring you the true flavors realized from the terroir. Based on our experience, we believe each wine is a specific, individual expression of the fruit from our vineyards and the craft of our winemaker.
Winemaker Nancy Walker
Nancy Walker has had the luxury of working as a winemaker in California for the past 22 years. Based in Mendocino County, Nancy has traveled throughout the region visiting growers. Through her travels, she has developed an appreciation for the regional and local differences that each unique vineyard produces. With this she is able to tend to our vineyards with our small growers throughout the state and to produce wines of concentration and distinction.
Nancy is a graduate of the University of California at Davis, renowned for winemaking education. Her winemaking career began in 1984, as a cellar worker at McDowell Valley Vineyards. From there, she honed her skills at many local wineries starting with Geyser Peak as Wine Chemist and QC Technician. From there it was on to Dunnewood, where she was the Assistant Winemaker for 5 years before moving on to Assistant Winemaker at Clos du Bois. Nancy was then responsible for the set up and operation of the small family winery at Brutocao Cellars.
Nancy was searching for diverse production and vineyard opportunities, and so accepted a position at Fetzer Vineyards in Hopland. She then moved on to Winery Exchange, an international beverage company, where she was responsible for the winemaking portfolio of Washington, Oregon and California. Nancy is currently Director of Winemaking for the Vintage Wine Estates and runs the Grove Street Winery in Healdsburg, CA where she is responsible for producing 150,000 cases per year of wines from Sonoma, Napa and North Coast Appellations.
Nancy also manages her own wine consulting business where she advises small, micro-lot wine brands of ultra-premium wines.
Winemaker Tony Stephen
Tony grew up in southern California but moved north to attend U.C. Davis, where he earned his B.S. degree in Viticulture in 1983. He has held positions as assistant vineyard manager for Carment Vineyards and managed Brutocao Vineyards, a 600 acre vineyard operation in Mendocino County. Tony then pioneered the development and execution of the first ever California wine grape auctions while at Winery Exchange in Novato.