2011 Storybook Mountain "Eastern Exposures" Napa Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1141383 93 points Wine & Spirits

 Jerry Seps selects this Zinfandel to emphasize the coolness of the morning sun on his vineyard at the Napa Valley's northwestern edge, where his vines face the Palisades and Mount St. Helena. It's a red-fruited portrait of the Napa hills, fragrant and floral, luscious and structured. The color is transparent even as the wine is bold and enveloping, eliciting what has come to be my blind tasting marker for the best Storybook Zins, virtually the only time my notes contain the word "yummy." There's nothing raisined about it, just a purity to the wine in its flavor, structure and refinement.  (2/2014)

Connoisseurs Guide

 If marked by a bit of vintage reluctance and not as expansive or deep as the winery's best efforts, this is still a very well-focused Zin with a lively message of bright-berry fruit and Storybook Mountain's typical polish and balance. It is one , we suspect that will reach its peak sooner than later, and, while experience has shown that its cellarmates from great years can grow for a decade and more, it will be make delectable drinking over the next half-decade or so.  (1/2014)

K&L Notes

Storybook Mountain Vineyards was established on the site of the old Grimm Brothers winery, which had been growing Zinfandel since the 1880s, but was destroyed by a fire in 1970s and abandoned. Jerry Seps bought the property in 1976, renamed it Storybook (it really is a "storybook" setting, with rolling hills, intermittent forest, and mountain terrain) and the rest is history. The soil type and microclimates vary dramatically at Storybook; grapes coming from different vineyard sites are subjected not only to different soils, but also various degrees of temperature and sunlight, making Storybook the source for some of Napa Valley's most compelling, distinctive, and ageworthy Zinfandels. Eastern Exposures is a barrel selection from the east-facing vineyards of Storybook's organically farmed mountaintop vineyards. The bottling emphasizes an elegant and aromatic profile with a layered mid-palate and a spiced, minerally finish. From the winemaker: "Scintillating contrasts identify this wine - soft yet balanced, fruity and savory at the same time, delicate yet intense. Aromatics of white and black cherries, orange essence, umami overtones and the slightest hint of oak, a layered palate with a touch of stone fruit to go with the cherries, balance and a long finish are all part of this 2011. It is a wine at once svelte, sensual, elegant and lingering."

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Price: $44.99
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- 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:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.1