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Cline to me is probably the most significant producer of Zinfandel in California.
Fred Cline, in honor of his grandfather, first founded Cline Cellars near Oakley, California in 1982. Here, he preserved and restored many ancient vine sites to their best potential as premier California vine sites.
Cline family relocated the winery from Oakley to Carneros region of Sonoma in 1991 to a beautiful, 350-acre estate. This region, mainly known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot was another inspiration for Fred Cline. He planted a typical Rhône varietals including Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne here.
Grapes for Cline’s 2008 Ancient Vines Zinfandel were harvested primarily from Lodi and Oakley. Over 20 percent cames from the oldest, most historic Zinfandel blocks in Oakley, Contra Costa County. These grapes were originally planted by Italian and Portuguese immigrants in the sandy, phylloxera-resistant soils more than 100 years ago. These old vines produce stunning concentrated fruit year after year.
Zinfandel from Lodi (57% of blend) came from historic vineyards along the delta waterways. The rest of the blend was carefully selected from prized vineyards in Mendocino, Sonoma, and Lake County. Individual lots of Zinfandel were harvested separately by hand, as they ripen. They were de-stemmed and very gently crushed, leaving some whole berries in the must, contributing to a rich fruit character.
The “must” (grape juice, skins and seeds) were then fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks to extract rich flavors and excellent color. After the fermentation the wines were pressed and aged in American oak for approximately 7 months.
Another rich, concentrated Zinfandel that is worth to try! Bright ruby red color and great aroma of ripe dark fruit, dark cherries and chocolate. On the palate really smooth, pleasant fruit bomb, with soft tannins and big body. Pleasant, bittersweet chocolate finish.
Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: around $ 18.00