2007 Bugay Vineyard Zinfandel
Zinfandel •Bugay Vineyard
California: Sonoma County
We are delighted to welcome back Bugay Vineyards to our spy lair. We have always adored Bugay’s wines. Though their wines are usually reserved for their wine club, John and Reta Bugay have a warm place in their hearts for us Wine Spies. They granted us a small allocation of today’s prized Zinfandel - which we are so happy to share with you.
Born of the Bugay Estate vineyard, high up on the steep southern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains, today’s 2007 Bugay Estate Zinfandel is an extraordinary Zinfandel. Our entire tasting panel was over the moon for this elegant, bold and delicious wine. And we offer it to you with our heartiest recommendation.
Remember, as you consider this wine, that the 2007 vintage is one that we very strongly recommend. Rober Parker awarded the Northern California 2007 vintage a decade-high 96 Points, along with his own strong buy recommendation. 2007s are drinking beautifully at the moment and today’s is one of the finest that we have tasted this year.
Dark and foreboding with deep purple hues. This wine is slightly opaque at the heart of the wine with pretty purple edging.
Spicy, fruity and big, with bold aromas of mixed sweet spice, juicy blackberry, black cherry, stewed cassis and blueberry, dark mahogany and sweet tobacco leaf.
Silky and balanced with dark fruit, spice and earthen components working together in harmonious balance. Flavors of mixed black fruit compote and sweet spice with the lovely flavor of dried twigs and fall leaves.
Very persistent with dark fruit flavors that linger on the palate for a very long time. As fruit and spice fade, a supple dryness spreads from the edges of the palate inward.
An elegant wine like this would be at home with a finer meal, but we can’t help but recommend this delicious high-elevation Zinfandel as the perfect BBQ companion.
What the Winery Says
- Tasting Notes
- Ripe strawberry, smoked meat and dried flowers on the nose. Smooth and rich with dark plum and blackberry flavors with perfect acidity - conveys balance without any raisiny compromise. Extremely fresh and juicy with excellent finishing clarity and exotic spiciness. This wine displays the pure essence of Sonoma mountainside Zinfandel.
- Sonoma County
- 100% Bugay Vineyards fruit “From the south-facing slope of the Mayacama Mountains”
- 88% Zinfandel, 12% Petite Sirah
- Cases Produced
- 15.2 %
- Barrel Regimen
- 9 monthsin French Oak
About the Winery
Bugay Vineyards is the embodiment of a dream driven to reality by passion, perseverance and patience. Long ago, the search began to find the ideal site for planting vines. Although Napa and Santa Barbara Counties were thoroughly investigated, we were most intrigued by the irresistible beauty and challenge of this land we now call home, located high in the Mayacamas Mountains of Sonoma County.
We immediately fell in love with the stunning beauty of this rugged, inaccessible and forested parcel. To our great fortune, this parcel revealed hillside meadows suitable for vineyards and the soils proved to be a winemaker’s dream.
Winemaker Randall Watkins
Winemaker Randall Watkins grew up on a vineyard located in the foothills of Taylor Mountain in Sonoma County. His father was a garagiste, creating rustic Zinfandel and crisp Chardonnay in a barn on their property with the help of friends who were paid in wine. Beginning when he was only 10 years old, Randall participated in the annual harvest and grape crush, and as he grew older he continued to learn about farming and fermentation from his father.
In 1993, Randall received a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis. After a brief stint working for an environmental consultant in San Francisco he continued his hands-on winemaking training, working in the cellars and labs of Buena Vista Winery and Hartford Family Winery in Sonoma County, as supervisor of red wine fermentations at Carmen Vineyards in Chile, and as assistant winemaker at S. Anderson Vineyards in Napa. Randall then returned to UC Davis, where he rounded out his practical knowledge by completing a master’s degree in enology in 1999. He went on to produce stellar wines over the next 7 years as winemaker and General Manager for Carmenet Winery and Moon Mountain Vineyard.
Throughout his winemaking experience, Watkins found that grapes from hillside vineyards produced red wines of incredible richness, depth and concentration. After making Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in Sonoma, Rutherford, Stags Leap, Red Hills, Mendocino, Monterrey and Chile, Randall discovered that his favorite big red wines were consistently from vineyards located in the Mayacama Mountains.
”…one day I met with John Bugay at the summit of Bugay Vineyards in the northwest Mayacama Mountains, and I was blown away by the vineyard site and the quality of the wines that it produced!”
Soon after, Randall left Moon Mountain for the opportunity to make wine for Bugay Vineyards.
Bugay Vineyards is located high in the Mayacamas Mountains of Sonoma County. The soil composition here is extremely rocky and rich in volcanic complexity. The earth has a very thin layer of weathered soil over thick layers of decomposed and solid volcanic rock, along with deposits of ash in many areas. Typically, these `Red Hill’ series soils are quite acidic. However, through some quirk of nature, our soil is remarkably close to having a perfect pH.
These lean, well-drained hillsides provide the fundamental key to the cultivation of our vines and the structure of our wines. Their elevation of approximately 1200 ft. place them above both the valley fog and the damaging spring frost. This temperate climate allows the fruit to mature slowly, evenly and with full physiological ripeness at a lower brix than most wine grape growing locations.
Sustainable Farming Practices
We pamper and preserve this precious soil by employing extraordinary cultural practices including the maintenance of selected, permanent cover crops and the use of organic fertilizers. We use very few chemicals and are well served by the biodynamic practices we employ. Our vines consistently produce small clusters of intensely flavorful fruit.