2009 Bucklin "Old Hill Ranch" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1133055 90 points Wine Spectator

 Jammy and a touch exotic, with ripe wild berry and Asian spice aromas and flavors that are both plush and appealingly rustic, showing notes of dried cherry, licorice and grilled herbs. Drink now through 2020.  (6/2013)

K&L Notes

According to Charles Sullivan 2003 book "Zinfandel: A History of a Grape and its Wine", Old Hill Ranch was established in 1852 and stands as Sonoma's oldest vineyard. It was re-established in 1880 after the destruction of phylloxera, but many of these ancient vines remain. They have been dry-farmed organically for the past 30 years and the vineyard is primarily Zinfandel, but it includes about two dozen mixed black varieties which make it into this bottling as well. The wine is fermented on native yeasts and the wine aged in 40% new French oak for 22 months before bottling. From the winery: "Old Hill Zin is known for its complexity and the 2009 is no exception. The spice character tends towards black pepper, and cardamom while the fruit component has an impressive array of rasperries, blackberries, and ripe plums. The French oak contributes toast and vanilla aromas while the tannins are very ripe and smooth on the finish."

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Price: $28.99
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Staff Image By: Mike Barber | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2013 | Send Email
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Easily one of the best zins I tasted at zap - this is a layered and spicy beast of a zinfandel with loads of dark fruit flavor and complexity. The oldest vineyard in Sonoma meets the best California vintage of the past decade, this is fantastic zin.
Drink from 2013 to 2023

Additional Information:



- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 15.3