2014 Mount Peak "Rattlesnake" Sonoma County Zinfandel

SKU #1318558 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Take, for example, the 2014 Zinfandel Rattlesnake, a blend of 96% Zinfandel and 4% Petite Sirah with 85% from the Monte Rosso Vineyard and the balance from other Gallo vineyards. It is aged in all French oak, of which 23% is new. A whopper at 16% natural alcohol, the wine has classic Zinfandel characteristics of Provençal spices, roasted herbs, pepper and oodles of briary black raspberry and black cherry fruit. It cuts a big swath across the palate with loads of glycerin and an unctuous, thick, juicy quality that is provocative. The wine is rich, ripe and ideal for drinking over the next 7-8 years. 5,000+ cases were produced.  (10/2017)

K&L Notes

The story of Mount Peak Winery begins more than a century ago at the celebrated Monte Rosso Vineyard and culminates with the recent revival of the brand by Gallo. A vestige of one of California's great "ghost" wineries, the wines are a tribute to the extraordinary facility that once stood there. Originally built in 1886, Mount Peak was a marvel of innovation with its three-story, gravity-flow system built from rock directly sourced from the dry-farmed Monte Rosso vineyard. While it ultimately emerged as one of California's top producers, it was closed during Prohibition and left abandoned to the elements, laying silent for decades. Over 130 years later, Gallo has revived the site and the vineyard, perched at nearly 1,300 feet along the spine of the Mayacamas Mountains, straddling the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. The steep hillsides are set against a dramatic backdrop and the new Mount Peak label will focus on Cabernet, Zinfandel, and a red blend from the original Monte Rosso fruit. Comprised of 96% Zin and 4% Petite Syrah, 86% of the fruit comes from the Rattlesnake block of Monte Rosso, while the reaminder is from the Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys.

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Price: $39.99

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Staff Image By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/18/2017 | Send Email
Mount Peak's Rattlesnake Zinfandel is gorgeous and packs a real punch with concentration and high quality fruit. The majority of this wine comes from the Monte Rosso Vineyard, a renowned site in the Mayacamas Range with bright-red, volcanic soils and 100+ year old vines. This wine is loaded with dark berries, pepper, oaky spice and a rich, full-bodied, silky finish. A perfect match for the classic California Zinfandel lover!

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/18/2017 | Send Email
Having been the spirits buyer at K&L for almost a decade, I'm quite familiar with the idea of reopening "lost" distilleries, as well as the return of old brands that has been quite the fad over the last few years. However, I had yet to hear about an ancient California wine producer coming back to life until tasting the new releases from Mount Peak, a "ghost" winery that has been resurrected by Gallo (who have been busy in the boutique world, nabbing historic brandy CA producer Germain-Robin as well). While I was surprised by the history behind Mount Peak, I have to admit I was more surprised by the combination of power, potency, and finesse in all of the wines. Normally 15+% ABV wines are not my cup of tea, but these babies had gusto. The Rattlesnake zinfandel is bursting with berries, vibrant spice, and a silky, softly-textured body that coats the palate with massive concentration.

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:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).