In addition the the grapes Thornton Winery farms themselves they source fruit from other areas of California. One of those areas is Amador County. Located in the Sierra Foothills, Amador County is best known for Zinfandel. Many of the Zinfandel vines planted in Amador County are amongst the oldest in California. While the term "Old Vines" is often used loosely throughout California the Zinfandels emerging from Amador County, generally are truly Old Vine. The last wine I'll be looking at this week from Thornton Winery is in fact an Amador Zinfandel. The Thornton Winery 2005 Amador County OVOC (Old Vine, Old Clone) Zinfandel was produced from vines over 100 years old. This Zinfandel was aged for 22 months in 45% new French Oak, with the remainder in 2 year old American Oak. Production was limited to 369 Cases, making this a winery direct exclusive. The price of this wine is $44.
This Zinfandel's nose opens with bright berry fruit and nutmeg spice on the nose. The first sip reveals that this zinfandel is tart out of the bottle and requires some time to open up and express itself. After decanting this wine reveals a lot of dark berry fruit and continued spice notes. The mid-palate brings out dust and brambly earth notes that carry through the long and persistent finish which also includes mocha, white pepper and additional berry. This is a substantial wine and will best be when paired with hearty foods that match it's robust flavor profile.
This Thornton offering is a classically styled wine made far more in the style of traditional Zinfandels than some of the super ripe, overly jammy wines out there. That said this wine has plenty of bright, open, upfront fruit, however it never comes close to being over the top. This is a well balanced wine with good acidity, and a firm tannic structure. This Zinfandel will evolve over the next 5 or 6 years and drink well for the better part of a decade. This IS your Grandpa's Zinfandel!
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