Winemaker: Charles Mara
Grape: 100% Zinfandel
Region: Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
One of my favorite people to work with, Charles Mara, has a huge personality when it comes to wine. Well, that’s not completely true – when it comes to anything. He is funny and entertaining when it comes to wine judging, production or personal presentation of his wines. This Professor of Oenology is striving to make the best possible Zinfandel out of his Napa vineyards.And the results of his “healthy obsession with big wines” are showing great year by year. Never heard of him? Perhaps because the production of his wine is extremely low so his Zinfandels are not found in every wine store.Talking about boutique winery… This small, five-acre vineyard is
owned and farmed by Jim Dolinsek a
production averages 350 or so cases of wine. Very low yields (less than 1/2 ton per acre) produces fruit with huge concentration and intensity. Dolinsek vineyard, more than 100 years old, produces variety of wonderful wines, not just zinfandel.
Both Charles’ vineyards Dolinsek and Luvisi Ranch are located in the valley that produces some of the world’s best wines. His dream is to produce Zinfandel that “will drink and keep like Brunello” . The intensity and deep flavors are already there. His personal attention to the winemaking process and selection of intense grapes makes it possible.
Robert Parker said about this vintage:
Proprietor Charles Mara’s performance with these two 100% Zinfandels is exemplary. My favorite is the 2005 Zinfandel Dolinsek from Russian River. One of the vintage’s most complete and flavorful Zins, it offers up aromas of red and black fruits, underbrush, pepper, earth, and spice. This rich, full-bodied wine is an amazing achievement in this difficult vintage. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. Rated 91
As always, Mara’s Dolinsek Ranch Zinfandel has a deep ruby, almost purple color that you don’t want to spill on your white shirt. Lovely aroma of ripe dark fruit, raspberry and black cherry, even ripe plum on the nose. On the palate it’s a rich, full body flavor with spicy notes like tarragon and a lot of fruit expression.
Dusty cacao or chocolate flavors on the finish, combined with a fine vanilla touch of American oak. This is a huge, masculine wine that needs to be decanted to fully enjoy. Just like Charles Mara always says: decant your wine so that the first glass taste like the last one.
Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: around $ 35.00
Ideal food pairing:
grilled beef, barbecue meats, goulash, Flank steak with shitakee sauce, Beef Chorizo, My best Chili recipe and many more