We have a history with mountain wines and mountain vineyards going back to 1979, when I first laid eyes on Mount Eden Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains and fell in love with the intensity of mountain fruit. I carried that devotion for mountain wines with me when I moved up to Dry Creek Valley in 1983 to develop a vineyard and build my house on Bradford Mountain.

This wine encapsulates all of the best qualities found in mountain grown Zinfandels from the Dry Creek Valley appellation. Poorer soils and colder nights harness and preserve more of the bright acidity and freshness in the grapes. More sunlight hours at the higher elevation means darker, richer fruit. Unlike benchland Zins, mountain Zins have a peppery quality and more black fruit character (think wild blackberry).

The 2011 Zinfandel brings together the three sections of our newer plantings of the variety—a southeast facing field-blend block with small percentages of Carignane, Grenache Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah and Verdehlo (less than 1% each), some of our Primitivo clone, and the south facing block. By blending percentages of the different blocks, we can create a wine that is complex, delicious and that we feel truly expresses this Zin’s mountain terroir.

Winemaker Tasting Notes

Bold aromatics kick off the wine with deep toasty oak woven into the ripe brambly berry and a dusting of white pepper. A core of bright mixed berry and dark cherry beams through the palate from front to finish. Edges of creamy vanilla and subtle notes of black pepper round out the flavors and add depth. The firm acidity and integrated oak form a strong backbone to the wine, allowing for additional bottle aging. This Zin offers versatile and creative food pairings—try it with Mongolian beef, chicken cacciatore or herb and garlic roasted leg of lamb.