2013 Henderlong Nalle "Henderlong Ranch" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel (Previously $45)

SKU #1246160

Producer notes: "Aromas of smoky vanilla, ripe raspberries, brown sugar, thyme and blueberries and violets. Tastes of tangerines, tea leaves, pomegranates. Tart with good weight, vibrant verging on powerful. There's a clear and focused finish perfect for aging. It's 98% Zinfandel, 2% Carignane from winemaker Andrew’s great grandpa’s 86 year old, dry farmed Zin vines that continue to produce bountiful crops, making classic dry creek Zin. It was made by destemming and fermenting in open top fermenters for 7-14 days, aged for 20 months in 8 neutral french oak barrels, racked 5 times, egg white fined and bottled with the intent to age well at least 10 years in bottle. Think 2017-2021."

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By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/14/2016 | Send Email
One of the best Zinfandels, if not one of the best wines, we tasted on our February Sonoma trip. Powerful but weightless, rich yet full of lifting acidity, this Zin is a pure tightrope act. With two percent Carignane added, this Zinfandel, from 100-plus-year-old vines planted around the winery, is deeply briary on the nose with refined spice notes of whole black peppercorns, cardamom and oolong tea, and is fruited like a wild berry cobbler. On the palate, it is dark and brooding at its core and energetic at its edges, with a tension between its bass-toned blue fruits and its high-toned red fruits—all with a silky smooth feel, no residual sugar and little oak getting in the way. This is just great raw material from these tremendous vines shepherded into a bottle with no excess or pretense. Exactly the way we like it!

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:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.