Wine of the Week - Dry Creek Vineyards Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2018-$21.99

A 'young vine' wine with 'old vines' character and flavor

Dwight Casimere | 2/10/2021, 6 a.m.
Dry Creek preserves Old World Zinfandel character for the future

Zinfandel is California wine’s gift to the world of wine lovers. “It was brought to California in the late 1800s by Italian immigrants,’ said Kim Stare Wallace, President of Dry Creek Vineyards, a Sonoma County winery famous for its award-winning Zinfandel. “Its one of our flagship wines and its certainly my absolute favorite. I drink a lot of it, especially because it goes with just about anything, especially grilled meats.”

Dry Creek Heritage Vines Zinfandel consistently wins 90 plus ratings from the Wine Spectator, Decanter and Food and Wine magazine. “It’s a dense, complex wine, yet it doesn’t overpower things. It’s got a kind of plummy dry fruit tone, with blackberries, cardamom and coriander spice with some white pepper and a bit of licorice. It goes great with lamb kabobs and anything exotic, like Indian food, especially a really good curry.

“Our winemaker, Tim Bell uses mostly Zinfandel in the blend (77%) with a bit of Petite Sirah, to give it texture and color and just a tiny bit of Carignon, which gives it a nice, silky mouth feel and a touch of elegance.”

The real secret of Dry Creek is the aging. “Our wines are aged for a year and a half in barrels created by our own coopers that we like to call ‘fusion barrels.” Its almost like they’re creating a violin. The head is made from old barrels and the staves are a combination of Hungarian, Yugoslavian and American Oak. The idea is to create a balance, “ President Wallace said, “because you don’t want to use too much of the wrong wood and overpower the flavor of the wine.”

Tasting Heritage Vines Zinfandel is Dry Creek’s way of preserving that the flavor and character of the old vineyards lives on into the future. For more, visit drycreekvineyard.com.

“What we like to do at Dry Creek is preserve tradition while innovating for the future,” opined Kim Stare Wallace, President of Dry Creek. Speaking specifically of the process that brought about the winery’s Heritage Vines Zinfandel, she said, “It began as an experimental project started by our Vineyard Manager, Duff Bevill in 1982. He got the idea to take cuttings from one of our pre-Prohibition vineyards and graft the budwood onto new disease resistant rootstock. The result was propagating a virus-free vine that produced a young vine wine that displayed ‘old vine’ Zinfandel characteristics.”