What We Say 2000 Midnight Run Zinfandel
EXCEPTIONAL QPR ALERT
Its not often that we feature a wine for less than $20. When we do, you can be assured that it is a great wine. Today’s wine has has an outstanding QPR or Quality to Price Ratio, making it well-worthy of our attention – and yours
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Mission Codename: After Midnight
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure a exceptional budget-minded Zinfandel for our Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Pedroncelli Winery
Wine Subject: 2000 Zinfandel
Winemaker: John Pedroncelli
Zinfandel is one of the favorite grape varietals, and for good reason, so many wonderful California wines are made from this varietal. Related to the Italian Primitivo grape and tracing its origin to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski, Zinfandel is one of the most versatile varietals with the ability to make wines, both rich to fruity, dark to light, and dry to sweet
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – A heart of deep garnet to slightly brickish at the very edges. After swirling, this wine continues to spin and spin at its center. When it settles, it leaves behind widely spaced legs that move slowly down the glass
Smell – Aromas of dark fruit including black currants, smoky blackberry and soft plum, followed by a lush and soft buttery leather aromatic with soft spice
Feel – Soft on entry, then more round on the mid-palate. The wine then slowly and subtly dry the cheeks and lips, giving it a slightly puckering quality
Taste – Sweet and bright, with delicious layered flavors natural jammy mixed berry, ripe plum and soft spice, with a hint of oak and pepper that that emerge as the wine opens up
Finish – This wine finishes softly smoky, with supple fruit and dark plum, fading slowly with hints of pepper and soft mixed spice
Conclusion – This 2000 was built to age, and it has done so beautifully. For its relatively low price, this ready-to-drink wine is an exceptional value. As should be evident by now, we are big fans of Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels, and this zin delivers the goods. This wine is a rich and delicious wine the enough acidity to make it very food friendly.
I got the call shortly before 10pm.
“Go for Agent Red,” I answered.
“Red, its White. Priority Alpha 7 mission directive.”
“Ready to receive.”
With that, my W.I.N.E. handheld device came to life, its dual displays indicating that a mission was being uploaded. I sprang to life as well, quickly dressing in my night tac suit.
The soft double brrt from the device told me that my order had been received. I spoke a command, and the soft female voice of the device declared the following:
“Target: Pedroncelli Winery. Coordinates and navigational data uploaded to your vehicle. Satellite thermal imaging has detected numerous bodies in the vineyards. Patterns of movement are contrary to conformity to expected norms, suggesting that a late-night harvest may be underway. Proceed to winery and assess the situation. Report findings to Agent White.”
As the device finished speaking, I was exiting my safe house… But, instead of heading to the winery, I diverted for my previously scheduled rendezvous with Agent Sparkle – at our favorite Sonoma County wine bar, [REDACTED].
Sparkle was waiting for me at the bar, and I explained to her that I needed to file a quick report before settling in for an evening of tasting and light dining.
I tucked myself into a dark corner, pulled out my handheld and whispered my ‘report’:
“Agent Red. Field recon report. Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards. I have identified the winemaker, vineyard manager and numerous winery personnel at work in the Zinfandel blocks of the estate vineyards. Grapes are being inspected and measured and spirited conversation is ongoing, particularly between vineyard manager and winemaker. Wait. It looks as though a picking decision has been made… Tractors… Bins… they are harvesting. It is obvious that these grapes are being picked to Pedroncelli’s fabled Midnight Run Zinfandel. Mystery solved, mission complete, Agent Red out!
I snapped my handheld shut, took a deep bow and, with a flourish, present my arm to my waiting lady-Agent. She smiled wryly and said, “Shouldn’t I get credit for that mission, Red? I told you about that wine just last week!”
“Well, m’lady, at least you know that I listen to everything you tell me.”
“Everything, eh?” And with that she gave me her ‘you jerk’ smile as we sidled up to the bar and ordered our wines.
If you love great QPR Zinfandel that doesn’t drink like a crummy budget wine, then I wholeheartedly recommend today’s wonderful Midnight Run Zinfandel from Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards.
P.S. Don’t tell Agent White that I cheated on today’s mission!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Pedroncelli Winery and vineyards can be seen in satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards
About This Wine:
“Dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of rich, ripe jammy berry, raspberry and clove. There’s also a hint of leather and that Petite Sirah kick (typical of our Zinfandel blend style) which adds to the complexity. A blockbuster of a Zin.”
Any winemaker will tell you that a great Zinfandel is made in the vineyard. And sometimes great Zinfandels are discovered in strange ways. After long, careful fermentation the wine is drained from the skins and the pomace is delivered to the press for the final squeeze. It was in this process that our winemaking team discovered the intense flavors that seemed to be coming at the end of the drain-down process. Often, the end of the drain-down process is very late at night. V-e-r-y late. Hence the name “Midnight Run” By selecting only the most intense flavored portion during this process, the winemaking style differentiates this Zinfandel from the rest. Full flavored and full bodied, the resulting wine is richer and darker in color, with a full spectrum of flavors. This is a very limited production wine, John usually selects lots that equal anywhere from 300-700 cases from a given vintage. And not every vintage is chosen as a Midnight Run selection. A bit of Petite Sirah, as is the custom, is added to the wine for an even deeper color, a good backbone of tannin and added complexity. Aging took place in American oak barrels for 15 months.
About the label The label was created from an original print by vineyard artist Gina Gigli. The prism of the sky, viewed from sunset to sunrise, depicts the full spectrum of colors and flavors in our Midnight Run Zinfandel.
About The Winery:
Since 1927, when John Pedroncelli, Sr. purchased vineyard and a small winery in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, two elements remain unchanged: the exceptional place the Pedroncelli family farms vineyards, and the family’s dedication to making fine wines.
- From selling grapes to home winemakers during prohibition in order to keep the vineyards going,
- to growing a small base of business during the 1930s and 1940s,
- to the second generation joining their father: son John becoming winemaker in 1948 followed by Jim in 1955 as sales director,
- to 1963 when the winery was officially purchased by John and Jim from their father,
- to growing the line of wines in the 1960s with vineyard expansion and diversification,
- to the boom time of the 1970s and 1980s along with many changes and additions to our sales base including national sales and export,
- the third generation coming on board and vineyard replanting in the 1990s
- to the 21st century where the fourth generation is coming up the ranks…
- and it is still a family owned business.
It all adds up to tradition, heritage and a family of wines you can enjoy with confidence.
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley
Total acidity: .645g/ml
Bottled: August 2002
Production: 700 cases