94 Insider Points

REVIEWS

You've Had Old-Vine Zin, but Have You Had the OLDEST Vine?

Scott Harvey was one of the first producers I had the pleasure of working with when I first started this job. Their self-labeled Zinfandel has been a house favorite for about 8 months now. Get ready to jump into something even more flavorful and fun. It's one thing when vines are 100 years old, these are 145 YEARS!! And they are showing their age very nicely. The low yields help to concentrate every bit of quality, and I was quick to jump on this one. 

Creamy cinnamon and raspberry on the nose. Ripe blackberry, red cherry and cassis show on the palate with a full body. It finishes long with black pepper and berries. This one is ready to drink, but it will lay down for a few years if you are so inclined.   94 Points - JZ April '18

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    Zinfandel
  • APPELLATION
    Amador County, California
  • ALCOHOL
    15.00%
  • SIZE
    750ml

Old Vine complexity and first growth quality: that's what this wine is all about. At the heart of this big beauty are 147 year old vines from the Harvey Vineyard known as “Vineyard 1869”. A Mountain Selection from the varietal that is not only CA’s pride and joy, but Amador’s signature grape it reveals itself as rich, full and smooth with more than enough sexy to go around.

· The majority of grapes sourced for this wine came from the Harvey Vineyard—better known as Vineyard 1869—and from the 147-year-old vines growing there.

· The 2015 vintage was defined by extremes: record-breaking high temps in the Spring, proceeding record rainfall, and the more than occasional wildfire in the region, adding up to a difficult year for residents but a great one for Sierra Zin.

·Proprietor Scott Harvey has been making wine since the 1970s, and his style remains true to the good old days of balanced, table-friendly Zinfandel.

These early winemakers didn’t yet know of Amador’s potential for truly great reds. Scott Harvey, who began making wine in Amador 100 years or so later, absolutely did. With high altitudes (2000-3000ft) and granitic soils, Amador County seemed the ideal place to grow wine grapes. In the area’s challenging terroir vines struggle (all the better) for nutrients. The grapes that do manage to ripen contain incredibly concentrated juice, even in the region’s more recently planted vineyards. Ah, but this is no fledgling vineyard.

Harvey’s 1869 Zin is an old-fashioned California red from seriously old-growth vines. Aged for 20 months in neutral French oak, the wine is a drastic departure from Napa’s flashy high-alcohol Zinfandels. A bit of Amador Syrah (11%) adds spice and furthers this wine’s naturally briary, brambly character. The wine won a Silver Medal and “highly recommended” designation by the Beverage Tasting Institute for its “aromas of dried cranberries, orange peel, and root beer with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a delightful, medium-length cherry cola and chocolate kiss finish with medium tannins.” A Zin for the nostalgic oenophile or anyone with an old-fashioned palate.

TASTING NOTES 

Produced in the old world style of balanced wine making.  We want the wine to express the Amador Zinfandel terroir with a good balance of fruit, French oak, structural tannins and medium alcohol. The wine is made in the California Claret style reminiscent of the balanced Zinfandels produced back in the 60’s and 70’s.

Briary varietal layered Zinfandel with aromas and flavors of blackberry, fig, pomegranate, violets, and a balanced, fleshy center with hints of coffee and bright currants. Old Vine complexity and first growth quality. 68% 147 year old vines from the Harvey Vineyard known as “Vineyard 1869”, 11% Zinfandel from the Manby Vineyard, 5% Zinfandel from the DeMille/Norton Vineyard, 11% Syrah from York Vineyard in Fiddletown and 5% Barbera from the Coon Vineyard.

THE STORY TO KNOW

From the winery:

Scott Harvey Wines, the initial line of wines in the “Creative Wine Concepts” portfolio, was created out of market demand for Scott’s wines – “niche wines that over deliver.” The Scott Harvey line focuses on Scott’s roots – Zinfandel, Syrah and Barbera from the Sierras. Approachable, food friendly and full of luscious fruit, these wines have struck a chord in the marketplace. Scott has hit his stride with his new mantra – “Scott Harvey Wines, it’s time!” Stay tuned – this is just the beginning!

PERFECT PAIRINGS

The winery suggests the following delicious recipes to enjoy with this Zinfandel: Bacon-wrapped pork roast, chili burgers, grilled Asian beef Kebabs over rice, chipotle grilled filets, lamb shepherd's pie, sweet potatoes with with Cuban-style beef, and smoked sausage jambalaya.