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April 15, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

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Dry Creej Vnyd Heritage Zin 2014 Picmonkey



2014 Heritage Vines Zinfandel


Dry Creek Vineyard

Sonoma County

Alcohol: 14.5%

Suggested Retail: $22

“Dry Creek Vineyard’s Heritage Vines Zinfandel is a product of cuttings from pre-Prohibition vines, which were grafted onto new rootstock during the 1980s. We think the 2014 vintage shows much of the charm of typical examples of this variety from century-old vineyards, but there’s also a richness and power not often encountered in these Zinfandels from older vines.

“A couple of decades ago many Zinfandels began to develop a bloated personality due to much higher alcohol levels favored by some winemakers and, to be fair, much of the consuming public. Those who didn’t appreciate the new style thought these wines tasted hot, sweet and devoid of the virtues the variety used to exhibit. The 2014 Heritage Vines from Dry Creek has the traditional Zinfandel personality, but shows it in a rich and voluptuous package. Unlike the monster Zins at 15 and 16% alcohol, it’s powerful, but not overly so.

“As with many quality Zins, this wine included a Petite Sirah component (20%). There’s also one percentage point of Primitivo and one of Carignane to supplement the 78% base of Zinfandel. Aromas in the 2014 Heritage Vines Zinfandel give evidence of raspberries and cherries, as well as some of that black pepper quality and all are reprised in the taste. We think this is a splendid wine which will satisfy traditionalists, yet show what a big Zinfandel can be when made by a winemaker not given to excess.”

Food Affinity: “If you asked a dozen fans of Zinfandel what they’d like to serve with a good Zin, you might get more than 12 different responses. We’ve always enjoyed the variety with pasta dishes in red sauces, and grilled meat of all kinds. Lighter Zinfandels can pair well with many chicken dishes, too. For the 2014 Heritage Vines Zinfandel we’d suggest a couple of racks of St. Louis-style ribs, slowly cooked in your Weber.”

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