Country: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California
Tasting Date Price: $15.99
Rating: WS 2009 88; WE 2008 84
Alcohol Content: 14.8%
Vineyard Website: click here
Visual Aspect: Rich red
Nose: Brambly berry fruit, briar, allspice and vanilla bean aromas all present themselves in varying degrees of intensity through the nose of this 2008 Zinfandel
Palate: Black cherry leads the charge throughout the palate and it’s joined by a nice complement of dark berry fruits and intermingling wisps of toasty oak. A wallop of minerals, earth, dusty baker’s chocolate and black pepper flavors are all part of the excellent finish. This wine has supple tannins and terrific acidity.
Food Pairing: This wine’s versatility shows with food. It’s beautifully balanced and will thus pair with a wide array of styles. A dish of pasta with red sauce would be a terrific match, as would roasted meats. It also works well paired with more casual foods such as hard cheeses or a Panini.
Winery Notes: Stop thinking about that kind of clone, silly people. The fruit of this intoxicating plant grows proudly under the sun in the good, deep earth, not sadly tethered to tubes in some artificially lit little closet. But this story does begin in the midst of a time of prohibition. In 1927, the smart money was on prunes, but perhaps seeing a light at the end of the Volstead Act, Giovanni Pedroncelli purchased 25 acres of vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. The Pedroncellis first sold grapes, then renewed the old bonded winery onsite when Prohibition ended just a few years later. When varietal wine really boomed again in the 1970s, the family replanted using budwood from the original, 100-year-old Zinfandel vines from the home ranch.
Pedroncelli 2008 “Mother Clone” Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($15) is a good old, traditional Dry Creek Zin. Toasty oak and menthol blow off to reveal strawberry jam and big brambleberry fruit flavors. Zingy on the tongue, but not hot on the finish, wrapping up firmly with dry, chalky tannin. A sold example of the genre, and priced so well you can get two bottles–one for the recipe and one for the cook