From the rich, red earth The Zinfandels of Mendocino's Redwood Valley owe everything to the unique rust-colored slopes that bear outstandingly bold fruit.
It makes perfect sense that some of California's most distinctive Zinfandels come from the Redwood Valley in southern Mendocino County. This is one of the state's most distinctive viticultural enclaves, with a combination of climate and soils — particularly its deposits of the rare, rust-colored Redvine soil — that rightly may be called unique. There's nothing else quite like it, anywhere.
Yet for many years these wonderful wines were only on the Zin fanatic's radar, virtually unknown in the mainstream. Redwood Valley was only recently recognized as an American Viticultural Area. It was the first place in Mendocino County to produce commercial wine grapes (in the 1850s), but it has never had more than a few wineries (eight at the moment). Even today, virtually all its crop (mostly Chardonnay) disappears into blends bottled by large North Coast wineries, so wine lovers seldom get a taste of the valley's outstanding viticultural character.
However, a staunch corps of Redwood Valley wineries have consistently
bottled Zinfandels from the valley's red-dirt slopes. It was largely
on the strength of those wines that Redwood Valley finally became an
AVA in 1996.
Not a moment too soon. Because a characteristic Redwood Valley Zin is among the glories of California winedom, an archetypal expression of region and grape.
2010 ZINFANDEL - Mendocino
Our Zinfandel comes from 10 different old vine Zinfandel vineyards scattered throughout the benchlands and hillsides of Mendocino County. Old vine vineyards such as Bertozzi, Kazmet, Venturi and Zeller grace this fine wine. The blend also contains Petite Sirah from 3 vineyards. Many of these vineyards are still farmed by 3rd and 4th generation Italian-Americans. This vintage displays a rich dark purple garnet color and deep aromas of black cherry, boysenberry, plum, spicy sandalwood with hints of toasty oak. Uplifting flavors of plum, black cherry cola and a subtle of earthiness combine to give this full-bodied Zinfandel a generous mouth-feel. Rich full tannins and balanced acidity lead into a long, lingering finish.
Enjoy with garlic and rosemary seasoned lamb chops, Italian sausage, or spicy tomato pasta dishes. A grilled burger with melted gorgonzola in one hand and this Zin in the other hand is what the good life is all about.
2010 PETITE SIRAH - Mendocino
Mendocino County is the largest producer of Petite Sirah in the north coast of California. Our Petite Sirah comes from a combination of old vine vineyards and new high tech vineyards scattered throughout the benchlands and hillsides of Mendocino County.
Roasted meats such as lamb and beef or hearty venison stew bring out the true flavors of this wine.
2013 SAUVIGNON BLANC - Mendocino
Sauvignon Blanc produces some of the greatest white wines of this planet. Its heritage lies in the vineyards of France's Sancerre, Pouilly (Loire Valley) and Graves (Bordeaux) and this greatness has now spread to the vineyards of Mendocino County.
Perfect accompaniment to grilled halibut, Dungeness crab, oysters on the half shell or many types of Asian cuisine.
2012 CHENIN BLANC - Mendocino
Chenin Blanc produces some of the greatest white wines of France. In the loire region, the wines of Savennieres, Vouvray, and Saumur produce a wide range of styles of Chenin Blanc from sparkling, to sweet and everything in between.
This wine combines the mineral-laced steely acidity and structure of a classic Loire style wine, with the rich, creamy texture and roundness and fullness of fruit of a California wine. Aromas of wet stone, peaches, pear, and citrus all comingle in this racy, complex wine.
Pairs well with seafood or pasta salad and grilled chicken.
2006 LATE HARVEST CHENIN BLANC
Produced in the style of the great late harvest wines of the Loire Valley in France, Quarts de Chaume and Coteaux du Layon, this late harvest Chenin Blanc is very unusual in California. This wine comes from an old vine vineyard located in the hills above the Ukiah Valley in Mendocino County. Made from a combination of the “Noble Rot” Botrytis Cinerea and dried on the vine raisins, this wine displays aromas and flavors of ripe apricots, peaches and golden raisins. Fermented and aged in French Burgundy barrels, some of which were new, has created a gorgeous sweet, complex and balanced wine ready to drink now but which will age for many years to come. Drink at cellar temperature with a wide variety of fruit laden desserts or soft creamy cheeses.
2010 SYRAH - Mendocino
Three vineyards make up the blend for this wine. 68% of this wine is Syrah from the Kazmet Vineyard, which is on a small country road and nestled under 80-foot Douglas Firs. Head-pruned, no irrigation, gravelly loam soils and excellent exposure are exactly why there is something very special about this Syrah. 22%% is also Syrah from the Eaglepoint Vineyard located in eastern foothills above the Ukiah Valley. The remaining 10% is Petite Sirah from Gary Venturi's vineyard that located on western benchlands of Calpella. All of these vineyards have shallow soils and excellent exposure that combine to produce grapes that are intensely ripe and flavorful.
This wine shows a brilliant, dark purple garnet color and has deep complex aromas and flavors of boysenberry and ripe plums with hints of white pepper spice, roasted coffee and toasty oak. This well-balanced wine displays ample acidity and medium ripe, full tannins. The finish is smooth, round and long lasting.
2010 CARIGNANE - Mendocino
Carignane is an old world variety originally from Spain that worked its way into southern France, where it has become one of the most important varietals grown in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, alongside Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. Mendocino County is the largest producer of Carignane in the premium wine growing regions of California, with the majority of the vineyards being old-vine.
This Carignane comes from the 65+ year old vineyards of Maria Testa that are located on white Pinole clay-loam soils on the Calpella benchlands. Shallow soils and the excellent exposure of these vineyards combine to produce grapes that are ripe and flavorful.
2012 GRAZIANO ROSÉ - Mendocino
This rose wine was produced from several old vine vineyards grown on the benchlands of Mendocino County. The blend is usually composed of the Carignane and Zinfandel juice which has been bled-off from red wine tanks before fermentation which helps produce darker more robust red wines. The pink colored juice is then racked to neutral barrels for fermentation until dryness. The resulting wine is a beautiful pink-red color and has aromas of strawberries watermelon and other fresh red fruits. This is a great aperitif or a wonderful alfresco wine with fresh shellfish or other light dishes.