| Why am I having such a tough time delving into an introduction for my Sunday staff pick-the 2009 Old Vine Sonoma Valley Zinfandel from Bedrock Wine Company? After all, it’s a wine I’ve been waiting for months to arrive. Back when I first tasted Bedrock’s 2008 Sonoma County Syrah, which sold out in no time only to receive 93 points from Parker a few months later (Tom says of the high score, that it only validates what our customer’s already knew!), I was promised that a comparably priced Zinfandel was expected to be released in the Fall. Sure enough the official release date was set for September 1. On September 2, the Old Vine Zinfandel was on our shelf. A bottle came home with me that very night! The bar was set high by the outstanding Sonoma County Syrah and we all know that high expectations often lead to great disappointment. I am happy to report that the Old Vine Zinfandel is another bona fide bargain from Bedrock Wine Co. and is sure to win winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson even more devoted fans.
| The 2009 Old Vine Sonoma Valley Zinfandel is a blend of six vineyards, the bulk of which comes from vines planted in 1919. It gets the same treatment as Twain-Peterson’s single vineyard Zinfandels: manual punch-downs, native yeast fermentation, limited use of new oak (something like 19% on this one). The result is a wine full of rockin’ berry flavors that jump out of the glass. It’s a wine that gets me feeling nostalgic and sentimental, making me flashback to the late summer blackberry picking parties of my childhood. The moms would round up all us kids early in the morning and set us to work picking berries in some patch surrounded by the Redwoods. In Bedrock’s Old Vine Zinfandel, I can smell that same intense aroma of sweet sticky fruit and the newly dropped Redwood needles made more fragrant by the dewiness of the morning fog. Zinfandel is the first red wine I came to love and when I drink one that fires on all cylinders, it sends me back to that time picking berries. Speaking of moms, my mother recently informed me that she no longer enjoys red wines that “go like this…” As she said this she tightened her perfectly manicured, long nails into a fist and punched at my face. She got uncomfortably close, I could feel a slight wind at my nose, but I think she illustrated perfectly the difference between balance and too much. Bedrock’s Old Vine Zinfandel has that big fruit allure but it’s not going to coldcock you. I know most people don’t invest this much emotion into a glass of wine. It may seem silly, overindulgent, or perhaps even pompous, as was once put to me. But hey, its what I do and what I love. Bedrock’s 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel opens the door onto the hedonistic pleasures of old vine fruit and in particular, the range and depth of old vine Zinfandel. – Anya Balistreri