2013BucklinBambino2013 Bucklin, Zinfandel, Bambino, Old Hill Ranch, Sonoma Valley.
The latest Bambino Old Hill Ranch field blend Zinfandel shows Bucklin at his best, this vintage had enough warmth to allow early picking, native yeast fermentation and a long time on the skins, this made for more complexity and balanced alcohol, 14.1%, without needing to water down of fix anything. This natural Zin blend from younger vines in what is one of California’s oldest Zinfandel sites pays homage to these classic heritage vineyards with the same mix of black grapes that were originally planted together back in the later 1800’s, this vintage make up is about 80% Zinfandel (or Tribidrag, originally from Croatia) plus a dose of Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouchet, Syrah, Granache and Carignane. Will Bucklin certainly has crafted his own style and niche, but compares well with Bedrock and Ridge, especially his Ancient, from 130 year old vines, but for the money this Bambino is one of the best handcrafted Zins around. Aged for about 20 months in used/neutral French barrique the 2013 Bucklin Bambino is bursting with flavor with heady scents of flowers, spice and red berries to start in this deep ruby/garnet hued wine, rich detail and vibrant layers of raspberry, wild plum, pomegranate, cherry and tart currants unfold on the palate with cedar, bramble/briar spice, lavender, minty sage, hint hint of vanilla, as well as pepper, anise, cinnamon and boysenberry that linger on the finish. There is just enough raw tannin and juicy acidity to frame this energy filled Zinfandel to keep it all poised and structured, but still let maximum pleasure ensue, this is fruity and robust wine that impresses for it’s verve and old school styling, drink over the next 3 to 7 years.
($20 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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