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RP94: Super-Sharp, Sub-$30 Price on a Classic Zin from Amapola Creek - 02/21/2018 - Zinfandel (domestic)

There are few winemakers in California that boast as impressive a resume as Richard Arrowood. It was Arrowood who ushered in a new era in Sonoma County, by focusing on small lot, single vineyard expressions. His vision and expertise was central to the success of such historic properties as Rodney Strong, Chateau St. Jean, Arrowood and, now, Amapola Creek. With keen understanding the importance of place, he sources grapes from some of the most famous plots in California. And when it comes to historic vineyards, you’d be hard pressed to find one more notable than Monte Rosso. Originally planted in the 1880s, this site has long been known Zins of unparalleled complexity and balance. This shows through brilliantly in Amapola Creek’s 2014 rendition. Dense, compact, and fruit driven, it has all the power one expects from a top-tier Zin, but at the same time it’s engagingly refined with wonderful accents of vanillin, Asian spice, and fresh herbs. Other Zins of this caliber routinely command prices of $45 and up, but we have this spirited red for just under the $30 mark -- making it the best price going. If you’re a fan of Ridge, Biale, or Ravenswood, the Amapola Creek will be right up your alley. While wonderfully food friendly, this classic Zin is also a delight to drink on its own -- something weightier Zins simply aren’t capable of. It stands as a great reminder of how good Zinfandel can be.

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2014 Amapola Creek "Monte Rosso Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel ($29.99)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard...is dense opaque purple, with a big, sweet blackberry and cassis nose of camphor, roasted meats and hints Provençal herbs and pepper, this rich, full-bodied, inky Zinfandel should drink nicely for at least a decade as well. (RP)" (03/2016)

90 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Cut from the same cloth as the 2015, the 2014 Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyards (100% Zinfandel from 125+-year-old vines) has lots of plum and darker berry fruits, spice box, and dried herbs aromas and flavors. It's medium-bodied, impeccably balanced, and has a fresh, elegant style." (06/2018)

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 31, 2018

This is ripe, sweet and spicy with great acidity to temper the old vine density. The wine is not done in a jammy style, rather it is lithe, lively and surprisingly complex for the price. Drink now or age a few years.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 20, 2018

Given this vineyard's age, pedigree and quality...plus the winemakers, age, pedigree and quality...you'd be forgiven if you thought this price was a typo...but no...we're selling Amapola Monte Rosso Zin for $29.99...125 years old vines...expertly crafted by Rick Arrowood (50+ years making wine)...for less than $30. This wine is packed with ripe, succulent, plush red fruits, sandalwood, Asian spice, sweet bramble fruit. A piece of California's vinous heritage, crafted by one of the industry's masters, all yours for such an insignificant price it makes modern day Napa Cab producers blush. This is rock star, ancient vine zin for a song.

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 12, 2018

High elevation Monte Rosso Vineyard wines are historically higher in acid, which makes them ideal candidates for long term cellaring and aging. The 2014 Amapola Creek Zinfandel is no exception: lithe and lively, with fantastic aromas and flavors of ripe peach, apricot, asian plum, chaparral, spicy quince, molasses and raspberry. This Zin is zippy, perfumed, clean and bright, with a lighter texture than many and room to smell (and taste) the roses!

Staff ImageStephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 08, 2018

This is an amazing Zinfandel at a great price point. Delicious red cherry, vanilla and spice are shown on the palate with a surprising freshness and brightness. A touch of sweetness is expressed on the mid-palate with the finish being more on the dry side. This is for sure stand out!