2014 Hartford "Old Vine" Russian River Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1271291 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Zinfandel Russian River (1,500 cases) is full-bodied, offering terrific black raspberry and black cherry fruit and peppery, earthy, meatiness. Very lush, with well-integrated wood, alcohol and acidity, this is a beauty with a sensational texture and length. Drink it over the next 7-8 years. With proprietor Don Hartford in full control, and brilliant winemaker Jeff Stewart having access to some magnificent cool-climate sites (for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel), Hartford Family Winery continues to be one of the great success stories in California viticulture. The Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs all have very Burgundian personalities, no doubt from the minimal-interference winemaking, great terroirs and terrific raw materials. The Zinfandels are certainly among the top half-dozen or so Zinfandels produced in all of California. I have always had fabulous tastings with Don Hartford and his winemaker, but this may have been the best tasting ever, largely because of the strength of the 2014 Chardonnays and Zinfandels and the 2013 Pinot Noirs. (RP)  (10/2015)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Plump and fleshy, with a dense core of focused tannins and lively acidity. Aromas of ripe black raspberry, anise and licorice open to layered, slightly jammy flavors of black cherry, blueberry pie and smoky cracked pepper. Drink now through 2024. 2,200 cases made.  (6/2016)

92 points Vinous

 The 2014 Zinfandel (Russian River Valley) is dark, juicy and flavorful, with plenty of acid kick to prop up the flavors, dark cherry, blackberry, spice and violets are pushed forward. Drink this delicious Zinfandel over the next few years. This is an impressive set of wines from proprietor Don Hartford and winemaker Jeff Stewart. Hartford sources fruit from some of the top sites in Sonoma, and it comes through in the pedigree of these wines. I tasted most of the Chardonnays and Pinots from tank prior to bottling, while all of the Zinfandels were in bottle. Speaking of Zinfandel, once again, I came away from my tasting at Hartford thinking these are the best wines in the range. (AG)  (1/2016)

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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:

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 15