The Genuine Article: 2013 Sky Mount Veeder Zinfandel

Posted by Joe Salamone

Sky Vineyards Zinfandel is one of the most unyielding old school wines of Napa and without a doubt the most distinctive Zinfandel.

If you think you know what Zinfandel is all about, Sky's will cause you to reassess the grape in a serious way.

This is rugged, structured and powerfully mineral Zinfandel. What happens to Sky Zins in the cellar is amazing and likely has no parallel in today's world. You'd have to reach for old Ridge and old Joseph Swan to find something comparable.

The aptly named Sky Vineyards sits at 2,100 feet altitude, the highest vineyard in the Mt. Veeder AVA. The soils are volcanic.

Sky's owner, Lore Olds, spent years working at Mayacamas, one of California's legendary old school wineries. When Sky started in 1973, the focus was on Zinfandel. (Only recently did they start growing a very small amount of Syrah.)

When you taste a Sky Zin, there's no doubt that you're experiencing the genuine article. They're unabashedly mineral, burly and honest. Sky is intense in almost every way imaginable - in the strength and distinctiveness of its personality, in its verve, and its earthy and jet-black savory character. From an alcohol perspective, Sky is low octane.

This is a rare opportunity to taste a producer from California's "golden age" as if time had stood still. Sky is an example of unyielding traditionalism. It's difficult to write this and not remark on how fragile these things can be. The fires of 2017 claimed the Olds house, office and did very significant damage to their vineyards.

For now, though, I'd much rather celebrate one of California's most authentic and fascinating wines. I strongly suggest that you check out a bottle now and bury some in the cellar to watch it evolve over the next couple of decades. We've tasted the 2013 many times in the past and it's clearly a classic Sky for the long haul.

To order, email offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone


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