92 points - Snooth
What better way to celebrate ZAP week than with a classic, Old Vine Alexander Valley Zinfandel? For those not familiar, ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) hosts a tasting weekend each year celebrating California’s heritage grape, Zinfandel. Zinfandel was at one time thought to exist only in California, and although subsequent testing revealed that it is identical to Italy’s Primitivo grape, and probably originated even further East in Europe, that hasn’t stemmed the enthusiasm for this grape that has called California home for well over 100 years. In fact, today’s Heist, from WineHeist favorite Starry Night comes from Nervo Station Vineyard, boasting vines planted in 1896 and 1934. As was common at that time, the Zinfandel vines are interspersed with other varieties, like Carignane and Petite Sirah, adding extra nuance and complexity.
The 2007 Starry Night Nervo Station Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel is deep garnet in color, with a perfumed nose of blueberry, blackberry, vanilla, and spice. The palate is typical of Old Vine Zin, packed with candied cherry and berry flavors, along with floral and anise notes. One of the great mysteries of wine is that hundred-year-old vines such as these can produce such wonderfully bright, fresh flavors, and yet year after year the results are the same. The concentration of flavor is less of a mystery, as these old vines are naturally so low yielding that the fruit is incredibly concentrated. Good acid and a relatively low alcohol level (for Zinfandel), along with medium body make this a perfect Zin for pairing with food. Try it with pasta with tomato sauce, or smoky grilled chicken. At just $24, this is a remarkable chance to taste a piece of history, and celebrate the grape that started California down the path of premium wine!
Vineyard: Nervo Station Vineyard
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Cooperage: Barrel Aged over 18 months - 45% new American barrels, 25% new French barrels 30% select one to three year old American and French barrels
TA: .62 g/100ml
Production: 420 cases
This year Starry Night Winery celebrates its eleventh anniversary as a bonded winery. The story of how they came into existence starts many years earlier when Wayne Hansen, Bruce Walker, Mike Miller and Skip Granger started making wine. Their motivation for this came from a shared life long passion for wine and an increasing disdain for the over priced and often mass-produced wines found in the market. To learn more visit Starry Night Winery at www.starrynightwinery.com.