2006 West Vineyard Zinfandel Tradizionale
Zinfandel •West Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley
What We Say
Today’s wine is not available through the winery, Our friends at Peterson generously allowed us to scoop the exclusive! Get some while you can…
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from Peterson Winery is a boastful and delicious Zinfandel worthy of your consideration
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Mission Codename: The Traditional
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Peterson Winery, in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, and secure a wine before its general release to the public
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Peterson Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Zinfandel Tradizionale
Winemakers: Jamie Peterson
Backgrounder: Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley is a treasure trove of great wines. While The Wine Spies have been trying to keep Agent Red from acquiring too many wines from the region he persists. And we indulge him, for the wines he has returned with of late are, quite simply, remarkably great. Today’s wine Agent Red visited with Jamie Peterson, second generation winemaker and son of Fred Peterson, the founder and winegrower for the winery. Read about Agent Reds visit with Jamie, following his tasting notes and mission report below
Varietal Backgrounder: Zinfandel is related to the Italian Primitivo grape, 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. Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels, which are characterized by their balance and juiciness, are gaining in popularity with our Operatives.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – A deep violet in color, with an inky heart of black plum. When swirled, this wine shows a fast-settling surface and tightly spaced skinny legs that take a while to emerge before they streak down the glass
Smell – Bold and deeply aromatic, with dark mixed berries, black pepper, white pepper, black cherry, burnt oak and dark bakers chocolate
Feel – Ultra lush and softly round on entry, then medium-bodied on the mid where the wine reveals an escalating richness as ripe tannins settle in and the mouth is coated and the cheeks are dried – with a texture that makes you pucker your lips
Taste – Darkly rich and brightly delicious, with a perfect balance of both bright and usky flavors with jammy blackberry, raspberry, plum, blueberry, smoky strawberry and dark cherry, with a sweetwoods and a gorgeous spice that adds to the overall flavor and complexity of the wine. Spices include pepper and soft baking spices
Finish – This wine finishes smooth and ultra-long with balanced flavors of its fruit, spice and a touch of smoky earthiness
Conclusion – This is beautifully balanced Zinfandel that delivers a real sense of the place that is the Dry Creek Valley. A father-son endeavor, careful farming of great fruit combines with the tender care of son Jamie’s winemaking talents to bring you a wine that impresses with its balance, brightness, complexity and pure drinking pleasure. Darker and slightly more (softly) herbal in flavor than other California Zinfandel, this wine has been crafted in a traditional field-blended style from some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in the region. The result is a wine that is unique and delicious, with a feel that has kept us talking about the wine long after we wrung the last drops from the bottle!
Special note: The wine is best when decanted for 30 minutes or more. Drinking a little young, but ready for release and ready to drink now, we recommend that you hold a few bottles for 6 months or more. If you have the patience, you’ll be rewarded with more depth and even more character
Learn how Agent Red first became aware of Peterson Winery, which is now a Wine Spies favorite in the Dry Creek Valley – in this mission recap:
Today’s wine was one of those happened upon discoveries. You know, the sort that you find almost by accident.
I was making a pickup at one of my dead-drops in the Dry Creek Valley. A local asset had left me samples to consider for a future mission. When I got to the spot, I found a small parcel, obviously not large enough to contain wine. I grabbed it and walked toward my car, all the while making certain that I was not being followed.
On opening the parcel, I found a hand-written note inside:
This location compromised. Proceed to [REDACTED] for the package.
I entered the coordinates into my GPS and made my way to the new drop. On arrival, I scanned the area. Not a person in sight. I proceeded on foot and retrieved the package. It was then that I noticed what appeared to be a a winery across the valley.
Sample bottles safely stowed, I decided to investigate.
“Peterson Winery” read the sign on the building. My pulse quickened. Peterson was a name that had come up a few times recently. I had meant to place them under proper surveillance, but had not had the time to schedule a mission. I got out of the car for a closer look.
I scanned the area, making note of all point of ingress and egress. A good spy should be able to make a quick getaway if needed.
“Are you here to taste some wines today?”
I spun around to see a young man, perhaps in his 20’s. I played along.
“Sure,” I said.
And so the tasting began. We tasted through the range of the wines, and when we got to the fabulous Shinbone, I made the decision – right then and there – to reveal myself and procure the wine for our Operatives.
“Listen,” I said. “I can get this on the calendar next week. Can you move that fast?”
The young man, who turned out to be Jamie Peterson, the winemaker and son of founder/owner Fred Peterson, quickly agreed to allow us access to the wine.
I left with samples, and flash forward two days to the present… Viola! This excellent and very exciting wine is available to you today, dear Operative. If you love big, expressive, juicy, delicious and robust wines, this one is certain to please.
Wine Spies Winery Check:
The location of the Peterson Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
A field blend means the grape varieties are interplanted within the vineyard, or even within a row of vines. The grapes are picked, crushed and fermented together, allowing all the favors to marry from the very frst moment the wine is made. The result of this early union is abundant, lush aromas and favors.
Our ’06 Tradizionale Zinfandel greets you with ripe fruit aromas of blackberry and plum dusted with white and black pepper and baking spices. The smooth texture and enticing favors layer over the palate—ripe plum, juicy blackberry, lightly roasted coffee, dark cocoa and cedar notes with hints of cinnamon and cloves. Bright acidity, softening tannins and vanillin oak balance nicely against the delicious fruit to create this classic Zin that goes down easy.
About The Vineyard: West Vineyard is an 80-year-old dry-farmed, head-trained Zinfandel vineyard located on a hillside in the southeast corner of Dry Creek Valley. A traditional feld-blend vineyard; a small portion is planted with mixed black varieties such as Petite Sirah, Carignane and Mataro, along with a few white grape varieties.
Fred’s (Peterson) Vintaged View: This is the kind of wine that really got me hooked on Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels. A traditional, old-vine feld-blend, this wine to me is the classic “raspberry jam” that differentiates the best Dry Creek Valley Zins from all others. Big, but balanced. Fruity, yet elegant. This is a wine that will go with almost any food, but you can also just pull the cork on a bottle and drink it with friends while playing cards or watching a good movie.
The old-vine West Vineyard Zinfandel in this wine was planted in the 1920s during Prohibition. It contains about 3% other red grapes (Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, Carignane and some others I’m not really sure about) as well as 1% white grapes (Semillon, Palomino and Chasselas). All the vines are harvested at the same time and all the various varieties are cofermented, which produces a smoother, fuller wine than separate fermentations and subsequent blending can give you.
About Peterson Winery:
We are located in the Dry Creek Valley, in the northwest region of Sonoma County. Peterson Winery’s new tasting room is now open for wine tasting and sales daily 11am-4:30pm. We often pour our wines at local tasting and charity events as well. Check for upcoming events on the News & Events page.
Our wines are also available for tasting at the “LOCALS” tasting room in Geyserville. See tastelocalwines.com for directions and details. Click on the “Find Us” link for a map to the winery and to LOCALS in Geyserville.
If you have any questions about Peterson Winery or our wines, send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll respond as soon as we can.
We can’t tell our whole story here, but we hope that by looking at a few photos and reading a bit more about us, you’ll find out who we are and why we love to make great wines.
About The Winemaker:
Jamie Peterson – It’s not by coincidence that I’m the winemaker at Peterson Winery. I’ve been helping my father at the winery for the past ten years, back to the days of labeling the bottles by hand. I worked two harvests here at the winery, in 2000 and 2001, and the 2001 harvests Down Under in Australia at Lowe Family Winery, and then in New Zealand, at Ngatarawa Winery. With this solid base of experience, much to my excitement I was given the opportunity of taking over winemaking duties in June 2002, and have been loving it ever since.
Overseeing the quality of the wine from when the grapes come in all the way through to the bottle is my main responsibility and priority. Since it’s just my father and I, this keeps me pretty busy, but when I’m not checking up on barrels or wrestling with the bottling equipment, you can often find me at one the numerous tasting events we attend, whether it is for charity or for the love of wine. In my free time, I’ve started a Peterson Winery softball team with my friends here in Healdsburg. I also enjoy cooking, foraging for local culinary mushrooms, reading, and am a Giants baseball fan. Continuing winemaking tradition of Zero Manipulation.
Composition: 97% Zinfandel, 3% Field blend of mixed red (2.5%) and white (0.5%) grapes
Appellation: West Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Harvest Dates: October 2, 2006
Barrel Aging: 19 months
Type of Oak: 25% new Hungarian oak barrels, 75% 2-5 year-old French oak barrels
Bottling Date: May 13, 2008
Production: 200 cases
Release Date: June 2009