2007 Hendry Ranch Wines Block 28 Zinfandel

Mission Codename: The most noble roots

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Infiltrate Hendry Ranch, and procure their vaunted 2007 Block 28 Zinfandel. Before the winery sells out, procure an exclusive allotment for our Operatives.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Hendry Ranch

Wine Subject: 2007 Block 28 Napa Valley Zinfandel

Winemaker: George Hendry

Backgrounder: Zinfandel is related to the Italian Primitivo grape, tracing its origin to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski. Zinfandel is one of the most versatile varietals with the ability to make wines, both rich to fruity, dark to light, and dry to sweet. Napa Valley Zinfandels, characterized by their big, extracted flavors, are among the most popular with our Operatives.

For today’s wine, a vine selection from the Brandlin Vineyard was grafted to St. George rootstock, to deliver a wine that is born of historic nobility. Wine geeks rejoice!

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark ruby hues from core to the very edge of the wine. At the center, the wine is slightly darker ruby, while color maintains perfect density through and through. After a hearty swirl of the wine, ropey, wine-stained tears emerge slowly, and then move steadily down the glass.

Smell – Aromatic and lush, leading with blackberry, blueberry and plum. After some swirling, the wine reveals more complexity, with layers of red fruit, spice, licorice, dusty bramble and soft oak. Bing cherry and dark raspberry mingle easily with the licorice and more earthen aromas.

Feel – Soft and smooth on entry.After a moment, the wine coats the entire palate, spreading a mineral rich dryness from the center to the lips and cheeks. Medium-fine tannins and a juicy acidity help to spread flavors to the corners of the palate.

Taste – Dark blackberry, dusty bramble, tart plum and black cherry take the lead. Close behind, flavors of tart cherry juice, sweet red currant, smoky raspberry, brown spice and flint appear.

Finish – Long, lush and very flavorful, with flavors that start with black fruit and then goes distinctly red. As the dryness spreads, it leaves behind dusty earth, spice and flinty minerals.

Conclusion – Born of important lineage and tended by Hendry, today’s 2007 Block 28 Vineyard Napa Valley Zinfandel is a special wine that our tasting panel just loved. Big and flavor-filled, this wine is a mouth-watering treat that delivers big flavor, intriguing aromatics and a dynamic feel. The wine evolves as it airs out; Revisit this wine after it has sat in your glass for some time and you’ll discover a freshly torched Crème brûlée aroma. Pair this food friendly Zin with your favorite Summer barbeque or enjoy it all on its own. Drinking beautifully now, we are hanging on to a few bottles to see how the wine progresses.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: George Hendry

WINE EDUCATION: 1963, I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees from UC California at Berkeley in engineering. My years of experience in the vineyard and the laboratory are the resources I call upon in my search to achieve the delicate balance of terroir, clone, viticulture and enology.

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: I aim to make wines that reflect the unique terroir of our ranch: wines with refinement, elegance and balance.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Wines should be good dinner guests: they should participate in the conversation, interact with the other guests (the food), but they should never dominate.”



AGENT RED: Greetings, George. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 Block 28 Zinfandel today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

GEORGE: Thank you, Agent Red – and The Wine Spies – for the opportunity to be here.

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

GEORGE: Not a specific experience but a keen interest in wine and food pairing contributed substantially.

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

GEORGE: The winemaking style of Tim Mondavi winery in the 80’s and 90’s.

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

GEORGE: A fruit forward, full bodied (higher tannin) wine at an extremely affordable price.

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

GEORGE: The Block 28 Zinfandel is terrific with anything on the grill, especially ribs and rib-eye steaks, but also lends itself nicely to braised, meaty dishes.

RED: In your opinion, what makes your Block 28 vineyard so special?

GEORGE: Wine regions are often suited to grow particular grape varietals. Early ripening grape varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are commonly planted in cool growing regions, and late ripening varietals such as Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are often planted in warmer growing regions. In rare circumstances, a single site can be appropriate for both.

Our vineyard has a long established reputation for excellence in growing both early and late ripening varietals. The reason for this unique versatility lies in the unusual combination of terrain and climate found at our vineyard location.

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

GEORGE: I spend my time making wine and doing winery tours and tastings.

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

GEORGE: If you know us for our Cabernet Sauvignon, try one of our Chardonnays. If you know us for our Pinot Noir, try our Red Wine (a blend of our Bordeaux varietals). You may discover a new favorite. Most certainly you’ll discover another reason why Hendry is such a special place to grow grapes

RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

GEORGE: Taste a lot of different wines, always with food.

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

GEORGE: Thank you…

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Hendry Ranch Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.

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