2012 Cline "Ancient Vines" Zinfandel

SKU #1151254 Connoisseurs Guide

 Not all that far removed in character from its modestly priced partner from Lodi, Cline's Ancient Vine bottling also emphasizes forthcoming fruit, but it shades ever so slightly to a bit of half-candied confection and shows a slight tannic bite to its finish. It is a tasty and pleasant enough wine whose minor coarseness will be mitigated by service with food, yet its afore-mentioned mate is still our first choice and is an easy winner when it comes to good value.  (1/2014)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 More serious is the bigger, richer 2012 Zinfandel Ancient Vine, which boasts a dark ruby/purple color as well as peppery, black cherry and black raspberry fruit, and a touch of spicy oak. It was aged eight months in one-third new American oak.  (8/2012)

Wine Enthusiast

 Perfumed in cinnamon-flowery aromatics, this well-valued Zin is softly spiced, lush and smooth, drinkable with black cherry flavor and plenty of personality.  (11/2013)

K&L Notes

Cline's Ancient Vines Zinfandel is based on the winery's 100-year-old Zinfandel blocks planted in sandy soil in Oakley, augmented with some old vine lots from the surrounding regions.

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Price: $14.99
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- 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.


- 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.