2007 Scott Harvey Wines Vineyard 1869 Zinfandel

Mission Codename: The Eldest

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Scour the country, in search of the oldest registered Zinfandel vines in the country. If the wine from these vines is superb, procure an ample allotment for our Zin-loving Operatives

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Scott Harvey Wines

Wine Subject: 2007 Vineyard 1969 – Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel

Winemaker: Scott Harvey


Today’s fantastic selection is made from the country’s oldest recorded Zinfandel vines.

Nestled in California’s once gold-rich Sierra Foothills, the Amador County AVA (American Viticultural Area) has been called California’s last great undiscovered wine growing region. With vineyards that date back to the 19th Century, this region is home to some of the oldest vines in the state. Today, Amador County produces some of the most deeply concentrated and intense Zinfandels in the state. Today’s wine is the best example of a perfectly balanced Amador Zin that we could get our spy paws on. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Gorgeous ruby red hues, with garnet edges and a slightly darkening heart of pure ruby. The wine settles very quickly when swirled, leaving behind tall columns of chubby legs that move steadily down the glass.

Smell – A heady rush of black raspberry and black cherry jump from the glass. These are layered over flavors of bramble, blackberry, cloves, brown spice, cracked leather and black pepper.

Feel – Soft and round on the very tip of the tongue. The wine starts light-weight, and then fine grained tannins take hold, introducing a soft dryness the spreads from the tip of the tongue the the edges of the palate, ultimately (but very gradually) drying the entire palate. This dryness is smooth and somewhat velvety, making the feeling very unique.

Taste – Bold and very flavorful, with pure raspberry, cherry, blackberry out front. These sit easily atop earthen bramble, allspice, smoky blueberry, subtle sweetwoods and black pepper.

Finish – This wine has a long and delightfully graduated finish that starts off sweet and softly spicy. Then, as flavors tail off and the dryness spreads across the palate, the character of the wine stays with you; Flavors never seems to leave your palate and, instead, the soft dryness that remains hold on to flavor for a very long time.

Conclusion – This is a remarkable Zinfandel that our tasting panel went absolutely crazy for. It is somewhat difficult to explain, but bare with me for a moment; The flavors in this wine are big, but the feel of the wine gives these flavors a certain lightness. That is to say that the flavors are not overpowering or cloying. Rather, the sit easily on the tongue – where they seem to linger forever. This is a very special Zinfandel that I think everyone should experience. Not only for the sheer age of the vines (the oldest in the USA), but also for the unique character and sheer deliciousness. As a 2007, we can’t help but be excited for the wine in the next years to come. The wine is great, and should only continue to get better.

Pair this wine with your favorite grilled meat, a great gourmet pizza or a hearty pasta. Most of all, just try this exciting wine!

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Scott Harvey

DATE OF BIRTH: 3-24-54

PLACE OF BIRTH: Bamberg, Germany

WINE EDUCATION: 1975, I apprenticed at K. Fitz-Ritter Winery while attending the Weinbau Schule in Neustadt, Germany. Returned to Amador County to apprentice from Cary Gott at Montevina winery.

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Montevina, In 1978, at the age of twenty-three, Scott took over as Head Winemaker for Story Winery, worked at Santino Winery and then started Renwood winery with a partner. Later was recruited to Napa Valley to be winemaker and president of Folie a Deux.

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Being European trained, I make wines to go with food—good acidity and low pH. This is considered old world style of winemaking.


CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Named 1 of the top 10 Winemakers in CA by Dan Berger

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: 2003 Scott Harvey Reserve Barbera being selected as 3rd best Barbera in the world outside of Italy.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Wine needs to tell two stories, one I’m Zinfandel, two I’m Napa Valley”


AGENT RED: Greetings, Scott. We are thrilled to be showing your Jana Old Vine Zinfandel today. It is one of the most delicious Zin’s I have tried of late! Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

SCOTT: Thank you for selecting one of my wines for your program.

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

SCOTT: When I was sent to Germany as an AFS exchange student in high school, I was sent to a winemaking region of Germany. On my first day there, my “German family” handed me a glass of wine. I looked out the window at the vineyards below, got my German dictionary out and said, “does this wine come from those grapes?” They said “yes, do you want to see where it’s made?” ….and the rest is history.

RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?

SCOTT: I got my basic training in Germany but my recent winemaking style I attribute to my mentor , Dr. Richard Peterson.

RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?

SCOTT: Old world style. Wines that are drunk with food.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

SCOTT: Dr. Richard Peterson

RED: How long have you been making wine?

SCOTT: 37 years

RED: Who do you make wine for?

SCOTT: myself, my wife, and our consumers

RED: Tell me, what makes the Amador region so special?

SCOTT: Amador County is a mountain region where the high elevation produces good regionally identifiable flavors.

RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?

SCOTT: You need to be a very clean and neat person. 90% of winemaking is janitorial.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

SCOTT: Harvest!

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today

SCOTT: It is from the oldest documented Zinfandel Vineyard in the world. The document that substantiates the vineyards age is dated 1869.

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

SCOTT: Red meats with lots of juice.

RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know

SCOTT: I like to iron my own shirts.

RED:What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?

SCOTT: Chianti

RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?

SCOTT: People drink experiences. Have fun with the wine.

RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?

SCOTT: Whatever my wife wants to drink.

RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?

SCOTT: Question: Do you have any new wines planned to make? Answer: I’d love to make a Gewürztraminer from a cold climate region.

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we
are big fans!

SCOTT: Thank, Red! Back to harvest for me. See you soon!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Jana Wines and Scott Harvey Wines can be seen in this satellite photo.

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