2015 Hartford "Old Vine" Russian River Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1293786 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Zinfandel Hartford Vineyard comes from head-trained vines planted over 100 years ago, and they are incredibly low-yielding. The wine was aged in 100% French oak, of which 50% is new, and like all these wines, was bottled unfined and unfiltered. This is a big wine at 15.2% natural alcohol, but there’s not a bit of heat to it. Its flamboyant, dramatic aromatics consist of black fruits, red fruits, licorice, roasted herbs, and smoked game. The wine has fabulous fruit on the attack, is full-bodied, and the red and black fruit combo follows through to a long finish of a good 40+ seconds. This is a stunner to drink over the next 6-10 years. These wines are obviously part of the Hartford Family Winery, but they appear under the brand name of Hartford. There are five old-vine Zinfandels, and they are about as good as Zinfandel can be... 2015 looks like an extremely strong vintage for Zinfandel, and possibly the best in over a decade for this heritage varietal in California. (RP)  (10/2016)

94 points Wine Spectator

 This is what Russian River Zinfandel is all about. Rich, dynamic and layered, with complex fruit, offering notes of jammy black raspberry, stony mineral, herbes de Provence and licorice. The finish unfurls at length. Drink now through 2026. (TF)  (2/2017)

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Varietal:

Zinfandel

- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.