Zinfandel Advocates & Producers
2011 ZAP Heritage Vineyard California Zinfandel
Zinfandel •Heritage Vineyard
Sell Out Alert: Agent Red secured every last case of today’s wine, but it will sell out, so please get yours soon.
Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) is an association that is dedicated to, you guessed it, Zinfandel. For the last 16 years, they’ve shepherded the production of a very special wine, the Heritage Vineyard Zinfandel. The first Heritage Zin was made by our good friend, 100 point winemaker, Nils Venge. In the intervening years, Heritage has been made by some of the most prolific Zinfandel winemakers in the world. Robert Biale of Robert Biale Vineyards, Joel Peterson of Ravenswood, Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards, Kent Rosenblum of Rosenblum Cellars, Dr. J. Bernard Seps of Storybook Mountain Vineyards - and many others have made a Heritage Zinfandel.
Today’s 2011 vintage Heritage was made by Scott Harvey, one of our longest-running winemakers on The Wine Spies. Scott’s experience with Zinfandel runs deep. His Amador County Zins, including his incredible 1869 (which is made from 144 year old vines), are the stuff of legend with our Operatives.
Today’s wine is an easy-drinking treat that is a fantastic food companion. The wine has great structure and wonderful overall balance. On the nose, you’ll find yourself taking long inhalations before you ever take your first sip.
Dark garnet, only slightly translucent, with just a touch of a slightly hazy red at the rim.
Beautifully aromatic, with a lovely blend of red and dark fruit highlighted by raspberry, blackberry, and sweet plum. Other notes of cherry cola, sweet tobacco leaf, espresso bean, clove, and a touch of black peppercorn follow on.
Concentrated and robust fruit notes of black cherry, raspberry, and black currant well balanced by flavors of saddle leather, dark chocolate covered espresso bean, cola, anise, nutmeg, black pepper, and just a hint of fresh cedarwood shavings.
A beautifully well-rounded, delicious wine, with a long and structured finish highlighted by deep fruit flavors and a wonderful acidity.
Rosemary and garlic roasted lamb shanks, served with a red wine reduction sauce drizzled overtop.
What the Winery Says
2011 was a pleasant change from the extremely light crop of 2010. The season provided excellent growing and ripening conditions. Harvest date and yield were close to average for the past 5 years. The fruit was extremely clean and full of the rich berry flavors we love Zinfandel for.
Bright red fruits, balanced old world style. Varietal Zinfandel made in a style reminiscent of California Zinfandels from the 60’s and 70’s.
- Scott Harvey
- 18 months in French oak
About the Winery
Through the Association of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP), Zinfandel enthusiasts study and celebrate the Zinfandel grape, connect with one another, and educate the public about Zinfandel’s place in America’s history and culture. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, ZAP was founded in 1991 at a time when Zinfandel was the underdog with a cause. A small group of passionate winemaking pioneers and Zinfandel lovers joined to create a movement that would elevate the understanding and status of Zinfandel wine – rightfully establishing it among the premier varietals of the world.
Winemaker Joel Peterson
Joel Peterson has been into wine since he was 10, when his father asked him to take tasting notes for his parents’ East Bay wine tasting group. In 1976, at the age of 29, he and business partner Reed Foster, whom he met in that group, started Ravenswood Winery with $4,000, no vineyards and no winery. For labor, they called all their friends to help for free.
“I went through a lot of friends in the first year,” Joel says.
He’s among the men most responsible for establishing Zinfandel as a world-class grape. This winemaker is a strong advocate of terroir, the French idea of showcasing a vineyard’s distinctive climate and soils through the unique flavor of the wine produced there.
Joel Peterson is unusual in that he makes Zinfandel to age. His wines are often more tannic than the current trend for ultra-ripe fruit, and not all are at their best immediately upon release. They start to resemble aged Bordeaux about 11 years after harvest. Many reach a nice balance of aged complexity with Zin-like character about six to eight years after harvest.
The Heritage Vineyard is an unusual and unprecedented collection of rare and famous Zinfandel vine cuttings grown throughout California. The Heritage Vineyard stretches over one acre within the UC Davis Oakville Research Station in Napa Valley, California. During the first phase of the project in 1995, 63 selections were planted; during the second phase in 1999, an additional 27, so that the total number of selections now totals 90. The vines are grafted onto St. George rootstock in clay loam soil with a spacing of 9 feet x 8 feet. Each vine is head-trained and spur-pruned in the “goblet” shape as they would have been in the nineteenth century. These practices are not as typical today, since they insure a low (and high quality) yield.