2009 Green & Red "Chiles Canyon Vineyard" Napa Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1083342 93 points Wine & Spirits

 *Year's Best Zinfandel - 2012* Pam and Jay Heminway started planting their 200-acre estate in the eastern hills of Napa Valley in 1972. They now farm 31 acres in three sites, ranging in elevation from 1,000 to 1,700 feet. Their sensible and sensitive approach to farming and winemaking has made a slightly different version of this cuvee a favorite at Chez Panisse, where it has been the house red for more than a decade. Their 2009 is a violet and black cherry-scented beauty, held in a tannic structure that will reward ten years of bottle age. The freshness is there to enjoy it now--the wine has a way of leaving the mouth feeling clean, a sensation associate editor Luke Sykora described as "fresh rain evaporating off a stone." Decant it for grilled Quail.  (2/ 2012)

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Price: $19.99

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By: Bryan Brick |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 2/21/2012  | Send Email
Green & Red has long been one of my favorite under-the-radar producers in California. Way out in the boonies of Chiles Valley, a valley that runs parallel east of Napa Valley proper sits the estate vineyards of Green & Red on a mixture of red iron and green Serpentine soils perched on a bench that ranges from 900 to 2000 feet elevation. This particular wine comes from the Chiles Canyon Vineyards which are the wineries three mountain top vineyards overlooking Chiles Canyon. Aged in half French oak and half American oak for 14 months this is one superb Zin far from the IHOP blueberry pancake syrup that most people are trying to pass off as Zinfandel today. Dryness prevails here from nose to finish with precise layering of fruit, tannin, acid and texture. Wild berry, spearmint, cocoa powder and espresso all combine in the mid-palate for a crescendo of flavor that is only outdone by the long complex finish packed with sage and other herbal components. This is deliciously youthful now and will continue to develop nicely over the next decade. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

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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:

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 (%): 14.8