The Live Oak block has consistently produced our most complex and concentrated Zinfandel wine. One of California's historic vineyards, Cline has chosen to dry-farm the head-pruned vines, continuing a practice employed by the Italian immigrants who planted this vineyard before 1900. The 2008 Live Oak Zinfandel exemplifies the distinctive regional characteristics present in wines from Contra Costa County. Intense aromas of sweet berries, spice, coffee and notes of licorice burst forth from the glass. Enjoy this wine now or cellar for up to seven years.
||Contra Costa County
Along Live Oak Road in Oakley, California sit two ancient vineyards that
contribute to Cline’s Live Oak Zinfandel. In this region where hot, sunny
days are cooled by evening winds off the San Joaquin and Sacramento River
delta, both vineyards are head-trained and dry-farmed, in the old world
ways of the Italian and Portuguese immigrants. In the sand-soil of the delta, the vines root deep and produce a scant but intense crop that is consistently among our most unique and complex, ultimately producing a robust and intense wine.
Grapes were harvested when natural sugar levels were high, and treated gently in the cellar to emphasize the explosive fruit characteristic of the block. The fruit was de-stemmed and lightly crushed with a large proportion of whole berries remaining in the must. We fermented the juice at moderate temperatures in stainless steel tanks, with yeast selected for its higher alcohol tolerance. After eight days of gentle ‘pump-overs,’ the juice was nearly dry and was pressed from its skins. The resulting wine was aged for 12 months in 40% new, medium-toasted French oak.
Cline’s Live Oak Zinfandel is a big, ripe Zinfandel in the classic style for which our winery is known. It displays notes of berries, spice, and licorice, and has a firm, balanced structure of acid and fine-grained tannins. A full-bodied wine, Live Oak will drink well now and age beautifully over the next ten years.
Enjoy this powerful Zinfandel with roasted or grilled meats, and pasta dishes with hearty sauces.