Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel

The April Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published shortly thereafter.

2010 was an exceptionally tough vintage for Zinfandel producers. California endured record-breaking low temperatures throughout the spring. The result was late budbreak. Summer wasn’t much better. It was the second coldest July in 50 years in Napa and Sonoma. Things became really problematic in late August when temperatures pushed first into the high 90s and then cracked 100 for several days, breaking records around Northern California. Many vineyards were wiped out by the heat including Papera and Carlisle. Ultimately though, the grapes that made it through to harvest, were of high quality.

The Contenders:

2010 Bedrock Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard – The 2010 Zinfandel Monte Rosso Old-Vine shows the darker side of Zinfandel in its black fruit, spices, flowers and licorice. It displays tremendous depth and intensity in a rich, round style that is hugely appealing. The blend is 96% old-vine Zinfandel (planted in 1886) and 4% Alicante Bouschet. Ironically, this is a block Twain-Peterson’s father, Joel Peterson, used for some of the Ravenswood wines when Twain-Peterson was a child. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard – Freshly cut flowers, spices and mint all jump from the glass in the 2010 Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard. Nuanced and detailed, the 2010 Bedrock comes across as fresh, vibrant and beautifully delineated from start to finish. This is very bright and floral, especially for the year. Mike Officer told me the fruit at Bedrock had matured to the point it could withstand the sweltering heat from the spikes that arrived in late August. The 2010 is a field blend of approximately 86% Zinfandel, 11% Mourvedre and 3% Petite Sirah/Alicante Bouschet. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020. 92 points from the Wine Advocate.

2010 Turley Zinfandel Dragon Vineyard – The 2010 Zinfandel Dragon Vineyard is voluptuous and beguiling from the very first taste. A wine of considerable impact, the Dragon Vineyard offers up blackberry jam, violets, cloves and a host of other dark aromas and flavors. This is one of the more intriguing wines in the lineup. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel Should I Open?

  • 2010 Bedrock Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard (45%, 31 Votes)
  • 2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard (29%, 20 Votes)
  • 2010 Turley Zinfandel Dragon Vineyard (26%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 69

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, please do let me know if you have any suggestions for the May installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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9 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel

  1. My pick is the 2010 Carlisle Bedrock Vineyard. Don’t know much about the three choices for “Pick My Next Bottle,” but curious how the Carlisle is doing after five years. Cheers!

      1. I’ve got a 2010 Turley Ueberroth Vineyard Zinfandel in the bullpen. I’ll let you know what I think when I pop the cork this summer.

  2. Carlisle is likely the more centered of the three wines and interested to see how it is drinking since we have a remendous about of Biale Vineyard designates from 2010 and prior

  3. My mouth is watering at the thought of any of these. Satiating that by drinking a Turley Juvenile tonight. I do love Turley, but voted for the Bedrock. To my palate, Sonoma County is king when it comes to Zinfandel and you can’t get much better than a Monte Rosso. All that Mourvèdre in the Carlisle was a surprise to me and very interesting but I have at least a bottle of that Bedrock and would love a Tom Lee report on it. Cheers!

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