What Great Zinfandel is Supposed To Do
2010 Bedrock Sonoma Valley Old-Vine Zinfandel
"Spice, Structure, Dramatic Aromatics...
at a Very Friendly Tariff."
Winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to sourcing top-notch, old-vine fruit...
Growing up in and around some of California's most storied vineyards with his dad - Ravenswood's founder Joel Peterson - probably helped.
But Bedrock, helmed by Twain-Peterson, isn't about merely trailing after Dad or following some staid set of "rules" for making California wine. At its core, Bedrock is about embracing California's rich viticultural history - Its 150-year-old vineyards! Its 120-some-year-old vines! - while working from a perspective that recognizes that sourcing great fruit translates into a greater ability to make great wines.
In the case of the 2010 Bedrock Old Vines Zinfandel, the great fruit translates into a wine that, for me, does exactly what Zinfandel is supposed to do: It straddles the line between opulence and brightness. Between vibrant, brambly red fruits and perfume, even Christmas-spice notes.
Like the greatest examples of Zinfandel I've encountered, this is powerful, it oozes a soul-satisfying sort of deliciousness, but it does so with a certain elegance and without that over-the-top jamminess that's become all too common in many Cali Zinfandels. It has weight, but it can still dance.
Seeing only about 18% new oak and using only native yeasts, you could call this a traditional, California connoisseur's Zin. It's a blend from OLD vineyards like Stellwagen (vines planted in the 1890s) and Puccini (Mourvèdre planted in 1905), Mourvèdre from Bedrock's own 122-year-old vines as well as younger Zin vines from steep and rocky terraces of the Los Chamizal Vineyard.
Twain-Peterson's goal with the Old Vines Zinfandel is to, as he says, "show the spice, structure, and dramatic aromatics and mouthfeel found in great Sonoma Valley Zinfandel at a very friendly tariff." I believe this will put to shame most California wines that go for double the price. I highly recommend bringing this wine to a dinner party and seeing what people think and how many Cabernet lovers convert.
A final note on the drinking window: Two weeks ago, I emailed about the 2010 Bedrock Heirloom. And having just opened another bottle of that over the weekend I realized that, beautiful as it is, it's also a bottle that really deserves some time in the cellar. Today, while we get ready for the onslaught of holiday parties and hopefully-not-too-brutal winter nights in, this is the bottle to crack. The 2010 Bedrock Sonoma Valley Old-Vines Zinfandel is in a gorgeous place right now and will stay that way over the next two to three, even five-plus years while you wait for the 2010 Heirloom to come into its own.
Production is pretty small here - there are only around 600 cases made, and they tend to move quickly. To order, please click below, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Specialist, Fine & Rare Wine Dept.
Crush Wine & Spirits