2018 Sweetwater Springs Vineyard Zinfandel 'Isabel' Magnum
Named for Our Daughter Isabel
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Our daughter Isabel is much more mellow and vibrant in her life, with music as a guiding light. To me, this is what zinfandel is all about.
Its brilliant cherry red garnet in color. Being one of the coolest vintages at this vineyard, this is a wine of sheer finesse and elegance. Sensual aromatics of wild raspberries, warm puff pastry, roasted earth and just a subtle touch of white flowers. The palate is full-bodied and very giving; it coats the palate with flavors of Rainer cherries, wild raspberries, cream soda, cinnamon and sage.
The blend: 85% Zinfandel, 15% Sweetwater Springs Petite Sirah — vineyard sisters; 379 cases produced. In the Cohn Zone drink now - 2032.
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One day in 2004, I received an urgent call from my good friend Ulises Valdez. He was incredibly excited about a new project he was going to start working on, in Russian River Valley and he wanted me to be part of it. So, he gave me the address, the two gate codes, and away I went.
To say this vineyard was amazing, is an understatement! This vineyard is incredibly steep, a 55° slope, and seriously rocky. The goal was to graft Zinfandel budwood from the famous St. Peter’s Church vineyard. It took just one look, and I was ready to sign the contract.
The Zinfandel I make from this vineyard has such a southern Rhône feel to it, one must taste it to understand. It reminds me how special Zinfandel can be when grown by those who share in the same passion.
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Vineyard: Landy Sweetwater Springs, Sustainably Farmed, planted in 2004
Ranging from 300 to 1000 ft. in elevation, the lower elevations are exposed to the cooling influence of the fog, while the hillside fruit gets more than its fair share of sun exposure.
Vinification: 100% Sustainably Farmed Zinfandel
The fruit is hand-picked then cold-soaked. I gently foot-stomp the fruit of which 20% is whole cluster, the rest is whole berry and de-stemmed. None is crushed. The wine goes through open-top, then 100% Malolactic fermentation and aged 18 months in 20% large-format new French oak, 75% neutral French oak barrels, and 5% concrete.
$.01 12+ 750 mL bottles
$ 15 1 - 11 750 mL bottles
$ 15 per magnum
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93 Jeb Dunnuck — The 2018 Zinfandel Isabel comes from the Landy Sweetwater Springs Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Offering an almost Rhône-like nose of spiced black and blue fruits, bacon fat, candied violets, and pepper, this beauty hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, supple, polished tannins, and outstanding length. There's a firm edge here that's going to benefit from short-term bottle age, and this beauty will certainly drink nicely for at least a decade.
92 Wine Advocate, Erin Brooks — The 2018 Zinfandel Sweetwater Springs Isabel, made with 20% whole cluster and aged 18 months in 20% new French oak, has a medium ruby color and a nose of red berries laced with notes of autumn leaves, dust, tobacco, cracked pepper and potpourri. The medium-bodied palate has a great balance of fruit, earth and spice character and a layered finish.