Meticulous farming. Mature fruit. Handmade wines. Severe selection. Master blending. From repeated tasting of the fruit in the vineyard to seeing the grapes come through the hopper, we still do it the old-fashioned way. We think it shows in the bottle, the only thing that matters. Cline's California Zinfandel displays a wide array of dark berry fruit including black cherry and raspberry, spice notes and a lasting finish of vanilla from oak aging. Firm, supple tannins add complexity to this wine.
Selecting fruit for the Zinfandel program is a daunting task; the primary focus
is harmony, with an emphasis on early drinkability and elegant structure.
The backbone of fruit from the famous Zinfandel growing area of Lodi
contributes 82% of this blend and the balance is from selected vineyards
throughout Contra Costa and other parts of California.
To create this wine, we begin by entirely de-stemming and only lightly crushing the grapes to preserve fruit and limit harsh tannin extraction. Then, a moderately warm fermentation is conducted in closed stainless steel tanks using specific wine yeast. Wine is pressed once desired tannin level is achieved, and then free run and press wine is combined. By racking the wine two or even three times before settling down to wood for eight months, we achieve early elegance without sacrificing bright fruit. Thirty-per-cent new French oak is used, which contributes a delicate vanilla and nutty character.
As always the California Zinfandel is a challenging and rewarding wine to produce. Severe selection criteria and master blending show in the final product, which showcases a wide array of dark berry fruit including black cherry and strawberry. Additionally, spice notes and a lasting finish of vanilla from oak aging and firm, supple tannins add complexity to this wine.
With its smooth structure and rich, berry flavors, the California Zinfandel pairs best with bold-fl avored foods such as penne putanesca, grilled steak or chili con carne.