2016 Bedrock Wine Co., Old Vine Zinfandel, California.
Bedrock’s Old Vine Zinfandel is one of the best deals in red wine in California and this latest vintage rocks. The man behind Bedrock, Morgan Twain-Peterson MW, son of Joel Peterson, a legend in his own right, making all those Ravenswood zins, yes, not only is he one of California’s best winemakers, he’s one of the world’s most authoritative wine experts having got his Master of Wine badge of honor last year, an amazing achievement, and his Old Vine Zin is a perfect wine to celebrate the Fourth of July, it’s an all American red with it’s stylish bold bravado. Bedrock Wine Co. has also just opened their new tasting room in downtown Sonoma, the place where the California rebellion began and we raised the Bear Republic flag for the first time. This new tasting room is at the General “Fighting Joe” Joseph Hooker House, he was commander of the Union Army of the Potomac, Hooker is sadly best remembered for his stunning defeat by Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863 where he lost his command, he tried to redeem himself and was given a chance later, and he achieved an important victory at the Battle of Lookout Mountain during the Chattanooga Campaign. Though he is also rumored to have brought women into the bases so his men could enjoy their company, it is thought that’s where we got the slang term “Hookers” from and his headquarters were known for parties and gambling, however, the term “Hooker” was used in print as early as 1845, years before Hooker was a public figure. Later in life he re-settled back in his beloved Sonoma, known for his efforts in farming and land developments. Apart from that trivia, Bedrock makes some of the state’s most compelling wines, they mostly focus on old vine field blends (mostly Zinfandel) from heritage sites that were interplanted with many black grapes and some whites, this includes their own historic Bedrock Vineyard in the Sonoma Valley that wasp planted back in the late 1800’s with many vines well over over a hundred years old. The Old Vine Zin is made up of Sonoma, Contra Costa and Lodi fruit mostly, all coming from vines over 80 years old and this 2016 version is a lovely effort with deep fruit, wonderful texture and complexity with a ripe dark berry profile to go with it’s purple/garnet color. Morgan embraces, as he puts it, uninoculated fermentations, native malolactic, the use of whole clusters in fermentation, and minimal handling with no additions or endowing of his wines, he goes for simplistic approach and for purity of form, and it all shows in his wines, which thrill the senses and comfort the palate with pleasure and easy to love opulence. He also says he hopes (his wines) are straddle the divide between intellectualism and deliciousness, I can attest to that, they do, no question. The 2016 Old Vin Zinfandel is sumptuous and full in the mouth with an almost youthful creaminess, it has hedonistic layers of black raspberry, briar laced boysenberry, macerated plum, tangy currant and juicy cherry fruits, all very open knit transparent and satisfying, but there’s more with hints of wild herbs, spice, a hint of cedar/sandalwood, light floral tones and anise as well. While decedent and fruit forward there is a impression of grace and life that make this wine super on it’s own, but even better with food, especially joyful with BBQ and friends, as mentioned, it’s a great wine for the Fourth of July and for any time you want to taste some California history in a bottle, drink this over the next 3 to 5 years.
($26 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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