2014 Sobon Estate "Rocky Top" Amador County Zinfandel

SKU #1289140 90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Rich, spicy aromas and flavors of black cherry and cedar make this fullbodied wine from one of the longest-running wineries in California’s Sierra Foothills hard to resist. It has a feeling of breadth and depth on the palate alongside lush layers of tasty fruit. Editors’ Choice  (3/2017)

K&L Notes

From one of the few remaining blocks of pre-prohibition era Zinfandel on the Estate, this ridge top vineyard of cobbly loam gives a full-bodied wine of great depth, structure and character. From dry farmed sustainably grown vines, the "Rocky Top" offers notes of summer berries, licorice and a woodsy earthiness with hints of white pepper and allspice. Heady aromatics lead to a rich, long, lingering finish. This wine is best served with spicy slow cooked BBQ, grilled meats and sausage or pepperoni pizza.

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Price: $13.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Barr | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/25/2017 | Send Email
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Planted before the turn of the last century by the original owners, the d’Agostini family, this old, head-pruned vineyard sits at an elevation site in the Sierra foothills that is one of highest in California (bordering 3000 feet). Yet, it consistently produces one of the riches, most complete and complex Zins to be found domestically, and at an unheard of ridiculously low price. This lovely 2014 Rocky Top continues that tradition and consistency. Deeply colored, the nose gushes with the classic Amador white pepper spiciness, blackberry, and anise fruit characteristics that is accentuated by that typical, classic Amador County mineral earthy quality created by the lava based soils in which the vineyard is planted. Broad, concentrated, viscous, and creamy across the mouth, this Gem is remarkably balanced and finely focused, yet powerful, full, and complex, with a long, warm, juicy finish. This striking Gem drinks fantastically right now (realize that I don’t age my Zins for any length of time), and, as a result, Rusty wants me to bring home several cases for our consumption over the next three to five years. One final quick note: I was lucky enough to get a half of a ton of grapes, two years running, from this vineyard from Leon Sobon in the mid-1990s that, in both years, made some of the best wines that I have ever created. A REALLY GREAT VALUE!!! ***** 14.5% ABV *****
Drink from 2016 to 2020

Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/14/2017 | Send Email
For over a decade now K&L has touted the Sobon Estate “Rocky Top” Zinfandel as one of the great hidden values in California wine. This inexpensive Zin has it all: power, extraction, spice and fruit and has somehow remained under $15. Year in and year out myself and the staff of K&L is amazed at how serious, yet drinkable, this wine is. Add the fact that this is a Zin with versatility, going with burgers and BBQ as easily as it can cozy up to a red sauce and you have a great candidate for an house red that won’t break the bank.

Staff Image By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/3/2017 | Send Email
Not only is this Zinfandel a great value it is delicious. It full bodied with soft juicy dark fruit flavors that are enhanced with a touch of spice. For people who love big red wines this drinks well alone and will go well with hamburger and other hearty foods.

Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/28/2017 | Send Email
The Sobon Estate Rocky Top just may be the most consistent K&L staff favorite Zinfandel every release. This all estate, single vineyard wine has an incredible nose of dark cherry, blackberry, and baking spices. Blue fruits shine on the palate, alongside beautiful oak spices. This is clean and focused zinfandel that is perfect with any red meats on any day of the week!
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Anthony Gittings | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/27/2017 | Send Email
I have always enjoyed the Rocky Top Zinfandel and this vintage is no exception. A rich and structured wine with ample amounts of rich blackberry and cherry fruit. Hints of spices, menthol and earthiness offer complexity and help round out the wine.

Staff Image By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/21/2017 | Send Email
The Sobon Estate label was established in 1989 with the purchase of the D'Agostini winery which is one of the oldest in California and has been designated as a California State Historic Landmark. The old vine Zinfandel was kept on the property and is used in this Rocky Top Zin. Aromatic and full-bodied, this wine is loaded with blackberries, earthiness and peppery notes that would make a fabulous bbq wine!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Zinfandel

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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:

Sierra Foothills/El Dorado

- This sweeping inland territory (an AVA on its own right), encompassing El Dorado, Fiddletown, Shenandoah and Amador, has been on the grape-growing map since the Gold Rush. With the exception of high-altitude El Dorado, the vineyards here are sun-baked and hot—in other words, best suited to old-vine zinfandel, petit sirah and Rhône varietals. The cooler climes of El Dorado are ideal for cabernet, chardonnay and merlot.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5