Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dry Creek Vineyard 2014 Heritage Vines Zinfandel, Sonoma County

Zinfandel is considered to be the most American of grapes. It can produce lip-smacking quality at wallet-pleasing prices.

Pre-Prohibition Vines Ride Again

Field grafting plays an important role in wine. Vineyard managers don’t just sprinkle grape seeds in the soil and hope they grow. They often graft cuttings onto existing rootstock to speed the growth process or to help ensure the health of the vines.

In 1982 Dry Creek Vineyard’s Don Wallace experimented by grafting pre-Prohibition budwood from century-old Zinfandel vines onto new rootstock. In this way the heritage of the old vines was preserved.

We Declare The Experiment A Success

Working to propagate vanishing grape varieties and saving old vine vineyards is only starting to get the attention it deserves. Embedded in these grapes and vines is the history and character of the land.

Aside from the sustainability and ecological aspect, we love gnarly old vines because they produce fewer berries filled with concentrated goodness. Dry Creek Vineyard has produced a wine that captures some elements of old vine Zin in a newer, robust vine.

The 2014 Heritage Vines is 78% Zinfandel, 20% Petite Sirah, 1% Primitivo and 1% Carignane. The vines are all more than 20 years old and the wine is aged for 13 months in French, American and Hungarian oak.

Flavor And Value Grafted Together

While the claim to fame for Heritage Vines Zin from Dry Creek Vineyard is grafting historic vine cuttings onto new rootstock, there is another accomplishment. The winery has also combined great wine with exceptional value.

At only $22 SRP, this is a “go-to” Zin for all occasions. It is a smooth wine with dark flavors of cherry and cranberry. This spiciness is what gives this Zin its zip. The 2014 vintage continues the heritage of quality at an excellent price.

Full Disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.

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