Double Gold - Tasters Guild International Consumer Judging, 2011
As we approach our two year anniversary at WineHeist, one of the things that pleases us the most is the relationships we have built up with certain wineries that consistently over-deliver on quality for the price. A great example of such a winery is our friends at R&B Cellars, which is producing some of the finest reasonably priced full-bodied red wines in the state. Today’s offering is another great example; the 2008 Zydeco Zinfandel, sourced from prime Napa real estate and aged in 100% new French oak at the staggering price of $22.40.
Medium ruby in color, the 2008 R&B Cellars Zydeco Napa Valley Zinfandel offers classic Zin aromas of cherry, blackberry, and strawberry jam. The palate shows juicy, almost candied fruit flavors, with hints of spice and vanilla. Medium bodied, with a rich, syrupy finish, this is perfect grilling wine, screaming out for red meat. This an unapologetically brash wine, with massive extraction and 100% new oak, and is certain to please fans of good old-fashioned tooth-staining California Zinfandel!
Bingham Ranch is one of the oldest vineyards in the Napa Valley. It has been in the same family since the mid 1800's, homesteading times, and was planted with vineyards in the 1950's. The zinfandel was planted in the 1980's, and is on the northern edge of the ranch. It is a small berry clone that benefits from extended hang time for optimal ripeness.
Harvested in late October, the zinfandel from Bingham ranch was perfect. Fruit was hand sorted, and then crushed and de-stemmed into three-quarter ton macro bins. A three-day cold soak was done before fermentation. Hand punched down twice a day during fermentation and then gently pressed off and put into 100% French oak barrels. The wine was racked four times while aging in barrels, and then lightly filtered for bottling.
Typical of a Napa zinfandel, the Bingham Ranch zinfandel is dark, rich, and intense. Blackberries and dark black cherries are the predominant fruits in this rich, extracted wine. The French oak is the perfect compliment to the fruit, adding hints of chocolate and toasty vanilla tones in the finish. The wine starts with an initial explosion of black fruit, and then opens layer upon layer of rich fruit and spice, to a long and mouth filling finish.
Vineyards: Bingham Ranch, Napa Valley
Composition: 95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah
Harvested: October 2008
Bottled: August 2010
Released: Late Fall 2010
Production: 325 Cases
Cooperage: 100% French Oak, 8 coopers – Jarnac, Rousseau, St., Martin, Boutes, Vicard, Seguin, Moreau, Treuil, Radoux, 100% new
R&B Cellars is Alameda's largest family-owned winery. As part of the burgeoning East Bay urban wine scene, the winery's core mission has been to create high quality wines that deliver tremendous value to the consumer. Since 1997, winemaker Kevin Brown has taken a detail-oriented and labor-intensive approach to crafting the highest quality wines. Each of the winery's varietals, having earned 90+ point scores and numerous accolades across the country, has helped to set R&B Cellars apart from the traditional players in the marketplace.
Kevin and Barbara Brown, the owners and winemakers, are jazz musicians, performing at winery events, winemaker dinners and wine tastings across the country. Their passion for jazz is evident by the beautiful musical wine labels and the fun, jazzy names. With over 30 years of experience in various areas of the industry, it is natural that the Brown family has extended their passion for making music into creating fantastic wine. Their motto: Wine That Swings! And it does.
Learn more at www.rbcellars.com.