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Friday, August 9, 2013


Zinfandel is known as California’s grape (you may not know but Zin is the 3rd most widely planted grape here – just in time for beer pub trivia!). The California legislature passed a bill that designated Zinfandel as a historic wine of California: “historic” not “official” (apparently this is what politicians do with their time – argue over words). But then-Gov. Schwarzenegger crushed the bill with a veto, and everyone let out a little whine. Anyhoo… Zin can be a terrific representation of the Golden State. The 2010 Bella Zinfandel, Maple Vineyards produced a mere 530 cases so there’s not a lot of this floating around. There are potent and defining notes of black cherry and pomegranate which are pretty striking. And it deviates from most zinfandels in that it completely lacks a jammy syrupy quality. Part of that is that these are dry farmed, head-trained vines, very un-commercially planted. The finish shows a rustic quality, a cocoa-like and resin-ish dryness. What is intriguing about this wine is that showcases how different and unique Zinfandel can be, digressing from the slap-happy joy-juice that is so common in most bottles and which has, unfortunately, come to define Zinfandel on the whole. Sure, Zin can be a literal jam fest, but so can other wines. The Bella suggests that you may not have expanded your Zinfandel knowledge…and you should…and you should start here. BELLA WINES

ORIGIN: Central Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California
PRICE: $38 / 750/ml
ALCOHOL: 14.8%

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