Clif Family Winery

2005 Gary's Improv Napa Valley Zinfandel


California: Napa Valley

Offer Expired:Sep 19, 2008 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price

What We Say


When you order today, The Wine Spies and Clif Bar Family Winery will purchase a Carbon Dioxide Offset credit, offsetting over 300lbs of C02 emissions! Cost to you? ZERO!

Savings Alert!

Shipping Included on 6 bottles or more. Enter this coupon code at checkout (discount will be shown before you complete your order): SPYZIN

Mission Codename: Improvise This!

Operative: Agent Red introduces new Wine Spy, Agent Green

Objective: Locate a fine Zinfandel – with the power to save the planet!!

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Clif Bar Family Winery and Farm

Wine Subject: 2005 Gary’s Improv Zinfandel

Winemaker: Sarah Gott


Wine Spies regulars know who much we love fruit grown at elevation. The climate, aspect and terroir lends itself to making wines of exceptional character and quality. The fruit for this Zinfandel is sourced from the Somerston Vineyard which is located on the eastern side of Napa Valley on the opposite slope from lake Berryessa.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Deep, but clear purple with garnet and ruby hues and a dark core. Ruby to pink edges and thick legs that show hints of the wine’s color as the slide down the slide of the glass.

Smell – Bold aromas of ripe fruit and jam lead off with blackberries and black cherries immediately followed by a dusty wild brush and spicy pepper kick. As this wine opens up, floral, smoke, mocha and oak components are revealed.

Feel – Initially soft and dry and then the spice kicks in with firm but ripe tannins and a touch of minerality.

Taste – Bold and ripe fruit and jam with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and plum balanced against a backdrop of spicy pepper, licorice, earthy notes and a touch of mocha.

Finish – This wine finishes long and smooth lingering with its fruit and jam components and followed by a touch of spicy pepper.

Conclusion – Like all the wines from Clif Bar Family Winery and Farm, the 2005 Gary’s Improv Zinfandel shows an overall passion for letting the fruit speak for itself. This Zinfandel has all the varietal characteristics we spies look for in a Zin along with a few bonus features. The ones in particular that we like are the floral notes, mocha and the touch of wild brush.

Mission Report:

Today we are pleased to introduce you to our newest Wine Spies Agent. Please join me in welcoming Agent Green!

AGENT RED: Agent Green, it is my distinct pleasure to introduce you to our faithful Operatives today. Welcome aboard!

AGENT GREEN: Whew! Thanks, Red! The vetting process was brutal. I had no idea that the process would be so exhaustive. That said, I am so pleased to join The Wine Spies.

RED: We’re glad to have you. Tell us about yourself, and about your unusual agent name. Our Agents usually have a codename that matches a varietal. I’m not aware of any Green wines.

GREEN: I am the new Wine Spies Agent in charge of environmental concerns here at Central Command. Its my job to make sure that we, ourselves, are an environmentally mindful organization – but I am also in charge of seeking out environmental organizations that need our help.

RED: Right, you’re bringing wineries to the party as well, right?

GREEN: Indeed. Such is the case with today’s wine offering! For every order that we process today, Clif Bar Family Winery and The Wine Spies will include a Global Cooling Tag. The tags offset more than 300 pounds of Carbon Dioxide emissions.

RED: And who pays for the Tags?

GREEN: The Wine Spies and Clif Bar winery share the cost!

RED: So, our Operatives pay nothing?

GREEN: Nope. Our Operatives get a great wine – at 20% off – and we purchase the Carbon offset in their name. Anonymously, of course. We never blow our Operative’s cover!

RED: How often can we expect to hear from you, Agent Green?

GREEN: Hopefully a bunch!

RED: And should wineries and environmental organizations get in touch with you?

GREEN: Absolutely! I invite them to get in touch. I also invite anyone that wants to help spread the word about our initiatives. Bloggers, activists, concerned citizens and others, should contact me at

RED: Thank you, Agent Green. On behalf of the founding agents, Agent White and myself, welcome aboard!

GREEN: Thanks Red!

/end session

Agent Green reporting:

Greetings, Operatives! I am very happy to be the newest member of the Wine Spies team. Please feel free to reach out to me if you want our help with your environmental cause. If you want to work with us to promote our causes, let me know how you want to help. At the risk of sounding very cliche, together, we can make a difference.

- Agent Green

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The approximate location of the Somerston Vineyard can be seen in this satellite photo.

The location of the Clif Bar Family Winery and Farm can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

Clif Bar Family Winery, Member, Napa Valley Vintners

About This Wine:

Aromas of chocolate, spice and a bit of violet mingle with flavors of black pepper and blackberry jam to create a bold yet smooth wine. The finish is long and soft.

The 2005 Gary’s Improv Zinfandel was sourced from Somerston Vineyards located in the eastern most part of the Napa Valley, about 10 miles east of the Silverado Trail. The majority of Somerston Vineyard is planted between 1000 and 2500 feet elevations, creating a cool micro-climate. Aged for 18 months in 75% used and 25% new American oak.

About The Winery:

You may know us as the people behind Clif Bar & Company. We are the makers of CLIF BAR®, LUNA® and other nutritious, organic foods and drinks. Our passion for food comes out in our convenient, portable food products. However, life is not only about portability and convenience.

We started Clif Bar & Company. in 1992 with a passion for food, family and adventure. This passion continues in all aspects of our life. We enjoy working in the kitchen preparing delicious artisan foods and sharing meals with family and friends. Wine plays a big role in these occasions.

This lifestyle and our interest in wine led our family to the Napa Valley. We purchased a piece of property with plenty of land to raise horses, goats and chickens and to eventually plant our own vineyards.

In our busy lives, Clif Bar Family Winery & Farm reminds us that we need to slow down. We hope our wines become a part of your own adventure and remind you to slow down and find pleasure in everyday life.

Gary Erickson & Kit Crawford
Owners, Clif Bar Family Winery & Farm

Technical Analysis:

Blend: 97% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah

Alcohol: 15.5%

Release Date: April 2008

Cases Produced: 260

Winemaker: Sarah Gott

As your agent, we can assist in selecting a common carrier for the shipment of wine that you have purchased and own. The majority of states maintain laws and regulations that control or restrict the importation of alcohol. In all cases, the purchaser is responsible for complying with the laws and regulations, including in particular those relating to the import of alcohol, in effect in the state to which the purchaser is shipping alcohol.