We were way past due for a SideTrip.  And for those not familiar with the term,  occasionally when I find a compelling or unique wine that really raises my eyebrows,  I like to make mention of it regardless of whether it’s precisely on point with the subject matter of TuscanVines.  Everyone needs variety and while I often enjoy wines from all over the world,  I don’t regularly write about them;  hence, the  #SideTrip.  

Today we’re spotlighting a wine that comes from a vineyard located in Northern Sonoma near the town of Healdsburg.  To many,  Dry Creek Vineyard is synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc,  founder Dave Stare’s first love.  However,  Dry Creek has become a leader in Sonoma on many fronts from sustainability, to dry farming, solar independence and hand crafted single vineyard expressions of Zinfandel.  

~ Craggly, Gnarly Old Vines at Dry Creek Vineyard ~
That pioneering nature extends to the wines as well.  Dry Creek was the first winery to use the term “Old Vines”  and to them, it’s not thrown about as a marketing tool.  For them to place the term on their wine,  they’ve self imposed that the vine age be at least 85 years of age – though many of their vines are far older. 

The 2013 is their latest effort and it’s stunning.   Only recently released,  I was instructed to decant the wine and so gave it 90 minutes before dinner.  I’m not sure the wine needed it, but it certainly didn’t hurt.  This is explosive from the get go.  

Rich, deep aromas of blackberry, zinberry,  menthol, flowers, vanilla and spices leap from the glass. There’s a faint trace of alcohol that dissipated quickly.  On the palate, the wine cascades with layers of rich, ripe blackberry, blueberry, Christmas spice, and toasted coffee bean flavors.  I love the texture, with the mineral character in the wine lending a dusty streak to the sensation.

Zinfandel is unique.  This wine is everything I hope for – both from Dry Creek and from Zinfandel in general.  It’s the first Zinfandel of theirs I ever had – some 20 odd years ago and I continue to buy it each year.  Superlative.  93 points. About $25 retail.  Disclosure:  This bottle was a producer provided sample.

~ With the 2013 vintage, Dry Creek extrapolated its unique approach to Zinfandel both on AND in the bottle.  This newly re-designed label is filled with information regarding the birth and creation of the wine and the cork is especially branded with much of the same information.   While busy,  I love the old feel “parchment” look to the label.  ~
Paired great with  grilled sausages and my previous recipe created earlier this year for Dry Creek Wine Club Members. 
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