Layered aromatics of spiced plum, wet earth and a trace of minerals provide an intriguing entry into this unique Zinfandel. The smooth mouthfeel offers a mix of red fruit—dark cherry, plum, pomegranate and cranberry—blended with a faint essence of baking spices and cocoa powder. The tannin and oak structure appear mid-palate, outlining the flavors without detracting from their richness. Reminiscent of a bold Pinot Noir, this is the perfect Zin to pair with seared duck breast in a Cumberland sauce, or cedar-planked salmon served with wild mushroom risotto.
Although the Zinfandel vines were planted in 1990, the Bernier Zinyard makes old-time growers feel they are walking into the past when they stroll among the vines. It is a traditional dry-farmed, head-trained (non-trellised) vineyard with Italo Sbragio’s old clone Zin grafted on to St. George rootstock. Why call it a Zinyard? Originally, long time Dry Creek Valley farmers Paul and Yael Bernier planted only Zinfandel on the hillside behind their house on Canyon Road on the northern end of the valley. To honor the traditions of many of the early Italian immigrant growers, as well as enhance the Zinfandel, they later planted a small block of Petite Sirah alongside the Zin, just above the row of peach and pear trees we sometimes enjoy while sampling the vines. This combination of influences embodies the very roots of Dry Creek Valley viticulture and reflects Peterson Winery’s values of savoring and embracing time-honored, traditional farming.