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2016 Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel

Jeff Degner, CSW | Certified Sommelier, Court of Master Sommeliers

Hartford winery is generally known for its Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays but Don Hartford has always loved his Zinfandel.  So it was no surprise when Wine Spectator put his 2014 Old Vine Zin as the #10 wine of the year in 2016 and his 2015 Zin as #21 the following year.  Most of the vineyards that he uses for the old vine Zin are 80-100 years old and therefore speak not only of the varietal but also the history of the soil that they are planted in.  These are some of the oldest vines in California and along with the gentle maritime weather are what allow the grapes to truly be expressive.  Regardless of the accolades and scores they make beautiful wines that appease both the professional side of me as well as the consumer side.  I have had the 2014 and 2015 and I think that the 2016 is a perfect finish to that trilogy.  The strong presence of boysenberry and mocha are the first things that you will notice followed by white pepper and nutmeg that are classic for a Hartford Zin.  Because of the gentle hands of the winemaker this will have a silky and smooth finish that will never be overpowered by the 15.5% alcohol level.  This is an ideal wine for when Dad pulls those slow cooked baby back ribs off the grill and calls you to dinner.

 

 

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2016 Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel

Country

USA

Region

Russian River

Alcohol Percentage

15.5%

Aging Container

10 months, 100% French oak, 41% new

Soil

Gold Ridge With Some Loam

Service Temperature

65° F

Drinking Window

Now thru 2025

Pairing

Baby Back Ribs

Fruit

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Body

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Earth

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Tannin

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Acid

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Critical Acclaim

Wine Spectator

93

Opens with rich, supple fruit that quickly takes on power and depth, offering raspberry, lavender and rosemary notes, with white pepper accents.

Wine Advocate

92

Already bottled, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Hartford Zinfandel is scented of baked blueberries, stewed plums and kirsch with touches of raspberry leaves, dried herbs, spice box and new leather. Full-bodied, firmly textured and with a lively backbone, it gives a great intensity of blue and black berry preserves, finishing long and spicy. 2,500 cases produced.

Vinous

92

The 2016 Zinfandel (Russian River Valley) is fresh, fruity and forward, all qualities that make it a terrific choice for drinking now and over the next decade or so. Ripe red cherry, plum, spice and cola are pushed forward in this racy, succulent Zinfandel. Soft contours and bright acids add to the wine’s considerable appeal. Simply put, the 2016 is gorgeous.