2016 Stirm Wine Co., Zinfandel, Cienega Valley, San Benito County.
Coming from an old vine vineyard, the Enz Vineyard in the Lime Kiln AVA, with head training and dry farmed without chemicals on granitic sand and dark clay loam from weathered limestone the Stirm Wine Co. Ryan Stirm, who has gained fame in recent years with his dry Riesling, I am really digging this *Cienega Valley old vine Zin a lot, with it’s ripe fruit and rustic charm it all works, it’s not far off his juicy old vine Enz Vineyard Mataro (Mourvedre), another of his wines I admire. The Cienega Valley Zin starts with balsamic dipped strawberry and vine picked raspberry along with dusty/chalky plum and light mineral notes adding earthy spice, guava nectar and a bit of Italian herbs all of which fill out on the medium bodied palate that feels a bit old school and with a touch of grainy detail and tanginess. Stirm’s Zin is 100% whole cluster, then aged 18 months old barriques, with air this dark garnet wine deepens and expresses itself with poise and impresses with it’s clear definition, you can enjoy this with BBQ and casseroles, or spicy pizzas, drink over the next 2 to 3 years.
($32 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive
Please note, I had to correct this review, the grapes in this wine came from the Enz Vineyard, not the Wirz Vineyard. Sorry about any confusion.