Hartford Family Winery
2011 Old Vine Russian River Valley Zinfandel
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
The Hart of the Matter
Today’s wine offering is the fabulous Hartford 2011 Old Vine Russian River Valley Zinfandel.
This is a bold, richly delicious Zinfandel. It is not the hard-edged monster Zinfandel that is many a California Zin. Instead, this wine shows concentrated flavors and fine fruit, with a terrific mouth-feel. It has a balanced, more delicate flavor profile that we find very delicious and lot’s of fun to drink.
An friend of ours at the winery called this wine “Zinot Noir” and he wasn’t kidding. We have never had the pleasure of enjoying a smoother and more well balanced Zinfandel in our lives. The cool climate and hand sorting of the individual berries makes this wine, sourced solely from 80-100 year old vines, something truly special!
This very highly recommended wine hails from the family-owned Hartford Winery, in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Hartford has been making Old Vine Zinfandel (their speciality) in the RRV since 1994.
They make what they call high personality wines which spring from high adversity vineyards, or those that are difficult to farm. The combination of old vines, plus difficult vineyard locations, lack of water and skilled winemaking all culminate in wines that deliver “character through adversity”.
Very Highly Recommended.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
92 points - Five Stars - Beverage Dynamics - “Made from vines that average 85 years of age, the wine is a deep, inky ruby red; wild cherry and raspberry aromas are coupled with hints of rose, spiced tea and fennel; lively red and dark berry flavors pick up spiciness as the wine breathes; shows good length on the finish, which is enhanced by well grained tannins. “
91 points - Wine Spectator - “Offers distinctive fresh thyme and boysenberry aromas, with complex but slightly tight blueberry, spicy dried sage and mineral flavors. Finishes with ripe yet firm tannins. Best from 2015 through 2020.”
90 points - Stephen Tanzer’s IWC - “Inky ruby. Bright cherry and black raspberry aromas are complemented by hints of dried rose, black tea and star anise. Lively cherry and dark berry flavors pick up spiciness with air, along with a touch of candied flowers. Shows good energy on the finish, which is firmed by youthful, fine-grained tannins. This rich but energetic zin will work well with strongly seasoned foods.”
90 points - Very Highly Recommended - California Grapevine - “Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, forward, intense, briary, raspberry and wild cherry aroma with spicy, peppery notes; full body; big, rich, fleshy, blackberry fruit flavors with firm acidity and a trace of vanilla; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Appealing to taste now and also shows good aging potential.”
90 points - Antonio Galloni - Vinous - “Inky ruby. Bright cherry and black raspberry aromas are complemented by hints of dried rose, black tea and star anise. Lively cherry and dark berry flavors pick up spiciness with air, along with a touch of candied flowers. Shows good energy on the finish, which is firmed by youthful, fine-grained tannins. This rich but energetic zin will work well with strongly seasoned foods.”
Dense and inky ruby with a soft edge.
Bright cherries and raspberries with roses and spice. Reminiscent of holiday compote.
Blueberries streaked with mineral notes and anise. Rich and soft with round tannins and layers dark berry flavors.
Long with long-grained tannins and boysenberry.
Lamb tenderloin with sage or rosemary. St Louis or Kansas City Barbecue.
What the Winery Says
- Jeff Stewart
- Russian River Valley
- 11 months
- 100% French oak, 37% new