Cline Cellars Live Oak Zinfandel 2018 75cl 15.5% ABV
Where others in Sonoma grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Cline Cellars are specialists in Rhône varieties and Zinfandel.
Live Oak Zinfandel is named after Live Oak Road in Oakley, on Fred Cline's original family ranch in Contra Costa County. The Oakley terroir is characterized by the hot sun, sandy soil, and a cooling breeze from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, producing a stunning and concentrated Old Vine Zinfandel.
The ancient, head-pruned vines are dry-farmed, a practice employed by the Italian and Portuguese immigrants who planted this vineyard well before the turn of the century. The grapes are harvested at high natural sugar levels and treated gently in the cellar to emphasize the explosive fruit characteristic of the block. The fruit is almost entirely de-stemmed and lightly crushed, before a majority whole bunch fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged for 8 months in 40% new, medium toasted, French oak barrels.
The final wine has concentrated and complex flavours of sweet fresh berries, dried figs and prunes, roasted coffee and liquorice. Well balanced with good acidity, silky tannins and a long finish. This is a big wine which maintains great elegance alongside its obvious charms.
This Zinfandel pairs particularly well with robust, heavy foods like rare prime rib, roasted pork tenderloin, and chili con carne. Also grilled lamb shank with grilled winter vegetables, pasta bolognaise, and blue cheese.