2010 Bradford Mountain Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

Mission Codename: Fortune Favors the Bold

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Ahead of the release of their 2010 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, send Agent Red to Bradford Mountain to infiltrate the winery and acquire all available cases for our Bradford-loving Operatives.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: VML Winery

Wine Subject: 2010 Bradford Mountain Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

Winemaker: Virginia Lambrix

Backgrounder: Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley is a treasure trove of great wines. Arguably, the region is best known for producing some of the finest Zinfandel in the country. For today’s wine Agent Red returned to Bradford Mountain Winery, a Wine Spies favorite. There, he was able to negotiate a small amount of their 2010 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, nearly a full month ahead of the wines general release into the wild. Quantities are limited, though, so act fast as we are certain to sell out.

Varietal 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. Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels, which are characterized by their balance and juiciness, are gaining in popularity with our Operatives.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Darkest magenta, with a darker core of deep garnet. At the rim of the glass, beautiful ruby hues catch the light. After a hearty swirl, tall columns of ultra-thin legs fall from high up on the glass. After this first round, a second round starts from very near the surface of the wine. This set of legs is far thicker and just as slow.

Smell – Dark blackberry and blueberry jam lead the way. These are closely followed by smoky black cherry, leather, dark chocolate dust, black plum and mixed sweet brown spice. As the wine opens, it also reveals subtle dried tobacco leaf and black pepper.

Feel – Soft, round and cool on entry. At the mid-palate, it takes on a plush and softly drying feel. A gradual, darkly mineral dryness spreads all around the palate, eventually drying the lips and cheeks.

Taste – Bold blackberry, black cherry, blueberry and dark leather lead the way, followed by juicy Bing cherry, Oregon black raspberry, soft cedar, subtle tobacco, sweet brown spice and a hint of flinty black pepper.

Finish – Berry fruit persist for a long time, dwindling as cedar, spice tobacco and black pepper take even longer to fully tail off. At the very end, flinty pepper lingers as the palate slowly dries.

Conclusion – First, please note that today’s wine will sell out. Last year we featured a previous vintage of this wine – and it set a record, becoming our best-selling Zinfandel at that time. Today’s 2010 Bradford Mountain Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel is every bit as great as that wine, with most on our tasting panel declaring it to be even better. With more berry fruit than the 2007, this wine also posses more greater balance, with flavors of leather, tobacco, spice and soft cedar rounding out the palate. On the nose, the wine is simply bursting with berry and sweet spice. Despite its relative youth, this wine is ready to drink, now. Be sure to stock up, though, as this may be your only chance to get your hands on this fantastic, highly recommended wine.

Wine Spies vineyard Check:

The location of the Bradford Mountain Winery vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.

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