Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dry Creek Vineyard 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley

The label for the 2013 Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel is amazing. And after you get past that, the wine ain’t so bad either. In fact, it is superb.

Barbeque Dinner Beckons

This wine traveled to a special barbeque dinner last weekend. We bid on it with another couple at a church silent auction.
I didn’t realize it when the meal started, but we were about to be treated to some of the best baby back ribs we’ve ever eaten. It involved smoking, baking, slathering, in what order I can’t exactly recall – but the end result was sticky finger good.The ribs fell nicely off the bone but had a nice charred crispiness.

Zinfandel And Barbeque A Food Pairing Delight

The best pairing with barbeque (or is it barbecue or BBQ) food is California Zinfandel. The rich, bold flavors of the wine are a match for the spice and sweetness of sauced up ribs, steaks, wings or anything else you can catch and grill.
Old Vines Zinfandel is at the zenith of the Zin pantheon. Old Vines typically means that the grape vines are more than 50 years old. In this case, the Dry Creek Vineyard vines are all more than 95 years old and some older than 110. The vines get twisted and gnarly and produce fewer grapes – but each grape is a masterpiece of concentrated flavor.
Larry and Donna joined us at the meal cooked up by Marilyn and Buddy. Larry loved the OVZ and, in his attempt to make a witty tasting note, said it tasted like a stampeding herd of buffalo. For me, flavors of blackberry, blueberry and spice came rushing in. But this herd of buffalo stayed to graze a while, with a long, elegant finish. It was a resounding hit with the dinner guests.
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Now About That Label: Old Vines In A New Skin

This may be the most information packed label I’ve ever seen. Dry Creek Vineyard took a very staid and traditional label and amped it up with (by my count) 20 different nuggets of information. You can learn not only the blend, which is 75% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Sirah, and 2% Carignane, but the type of pruning on the vine (head pruned), fermentation, soils, and the date of harvest. The barrel aging is also detailed (they use French, American and Hungarian oak).
This is fascinating reading and lends to the authenticity of the wine. Compare this with a bottle which provides almost no information, like “California Red Wine.” The Dry Creek Valley label is fun and informative.
But wait, there’s more! Once you extract the cork, there is more information – this about the cork. It includes the species name of the cork tree, info about cork sustainability and the date of the harvesting of the cork.

What’s Not To Like?

Dry Creek Vineyards has scored with another outstanding wine. Old Vines Zinfandel is a uniquely American wine that tickles our palate – and Dry Creek Vineyard does Zin very well.
The SRP for the 2013 vintage is $32. This is an outstanding value. You may be able to find earlier vintages and they undoubtedly will taste great. They just won’t read as well.

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