92 Points, Gold Medal - Consumer Wine Awards at Lodi
Double Gold - Tasters Guild Consumer Wine Awards
Gold Medal - NextGen Millennail Wine Competition
R&B Cellars has grown over the last few years to be one of the largest wineries in the East Bay (although that isn't saying that much, as this is an area known for micro-wineries, not big producers), but the great thing is that growth has come from an increase in value-priced wines without a decrease in quality. From their lowest price point to their highest, R&B continues to make stellar wines. Today's offering features a wine that gets all the treatment of a high-end wine, including 100% new French oak, but at a very reasonable $30. And when you take 20% off thanks to WineHeist, this is a great value in Napa Valley Zinfandel.
The 2009 R&B Cellars Zydeco Zinfandel is sourced from the Bingham Ranch in Napa Valley, where the Zinfandel vines are nearing 30 years in age, resulting in wonderfully complex and concentrated wine. Deep garnet in color with a nose that screams Zinfandel, and is bursting with blackberry, raspberry, and cherry aromas, accompanied by notes of earth and clove. The palate is all blackberry jam at first, with dark chocolate, cherry, tobacco, and vanilla developing as it lingers. Rich with a silky texture, this Zinfandel is able to be powerful without becoming heavy, with enough acidity to allow it to pair with a variety of foods. Lamb stew or pork ragù would be perfect. As the rain starts and the weather turns cold here at the end of Harvest in Sonoma County, we can't wait to sit down with a bottle of this Zin to try to keep warm!
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. Like the dynamic Zydeco music for which it is named, this wine will get your taste buds dancing!
Vineyards: Bingham Ranch, Napa Valley
Composition: 95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah
Harvested: October 2009
Bottled: September 2011
Released: October 2011
Production: 500 Cases
Cooperage: Aged 18 months in 100% French Oak, 8 coopers – Jarnac, Rousseau, St. Martin, Boutes, Vicard, Seguin Moreau, Treuil, Radoux
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.