2011 Montelena Estate Zinfandel

In winemaking, we talk a lot about the wine being “made in the vineyard;” specifically the critical importance of the vineyard site in the quality of the final product. At no other time is this more obvious than in the more challenging vintages – when the truly exceptional sites stand apart from the crowd. The 2011 vintage was one of those years, and the Montelena Estate is one of those vineyards.

vintage weather

In our Estate vineyards, this growing season was characterized by a late spring with a cool summer and a slow, cool ripening period. The typical, hot Calistoga summer never really materialized, so harvest was later than usual. Another result of the cooler vintage is that the wines are quite classical in nature – they show more red fruit with bright acidity and great subtlety, which is exactly what we like to see in our style of Zinfandel. These characteristics produce well-structured, yet also very approachable, food-friendly wines.

tasting notes

This Zinfandel shows beautiful ruby red color with medium density.  The nose is rich with barrel spice and toast notes reminiscent of rustic bread fresh from a wood-fired oven along with bright red briar-berry, cedar, anise, and a hint of tobacco.  Bright yet soft on the palate, this wine opens on the mid-palate with juicy fruits and complex barrel spice followed by tannins that persist through a lovely finish of dried fruit and black licorice.  This wine is very well balanced with wonderful acidity, and will be the perfect addition to your dinner table.

Purchase Price $44.00
Harvest Date October 12 to 25, 2011
Barrel Aging 14 months, 50% French and 50% American, 13% new
Bottling Date December 2012
Release Date March 2014
Alcohol 14.5%