We will be tasting new releases of California Zinfandel for inclusion on our list. Anthony Wagner of G. Housen, will be on hand to discuss the wines and answer any questions. Zinfandel was for many years somewhat of a mystery grape, as far as its origins are concerned. Recent research in Croatia and at the University of California at Davis, using DNA profiling, has proved Zinfandel is a clone of the Croatian variety Crljenak. While it had been theorized that Zinfandel's genetic twin, the Italian Primitivo, was the source, this grape also originally mutated from Crljenak.|
Zinfandel came to the United States in 1820, when New York nurseryman George Gibbs carried back various cuttings from the Imperial Austrian plant species collection. Over the next two decades, Zinfandel became a popular table grape in the Northeast U.S. Although there are some commercial claims that Agoston Harazsthy brought Zinfandel to California, records show that a Massachusetts nurseryman introduced it there. In either case, Zinfandel is now considered indigenous to California, where it has thrived since the mid-1850's. Because of its vigor, generosity and resistance to vine disease, many zinfandel vineyards exist that are 75 to 100 or more years old. Zinfandel aficionados believe these "old vines" produce the best wines, because the older vineyards set smaller crops and the grapes tend to ripen more evenly.
At its best, Zinfandel (red) has a very fruity, raspberry-like aroma and flavor and a "jammy" quality. Zinfandel is one red varietal that is probably best enjoyed in its youth, within three to five years of the vintage. With more bottle age than this, the luscious fruit that distinguishes Zinfandel drops markedly. The format will be casual, walk around with cheese and bread.
The wines featured will be:
Sebastiani, Sonoma County 2007
Flock (by Smoking Loon ), "Old Vine", Dry Creek Valley 2007
Four Vines, "Maverick", Amador County 2007
M. Cosentino, "The Zin", Lodi 2005
Frog's Leap, Napa Valley 2007
A sign-up sheet will be available at the front desk (253-5742 or 800-826-7000) and there will be a $15.00 fee per Person.
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