Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel

The October installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Old Vine Zinfandel from the the 2012 vintage. 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 on Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published the following week.

2012 was an exceptional vintage for Zinfandel throughout California. The wineries featured have meticulous Winemakers who work hard in the vineyard and I am confident in saying the wines from Carlisle, Ridge and Turley will rarely disappoint. These particular vineyards all date back to the early 1900’s.

The Contenders

  • 2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Dupratt Vineyard – The knock-out 2012 Zinfandel DuPratt Vineyard from the Mendocino Ridge AVA comes from an old vine vineyard planted at a 1,600 foot elevation. Officer told me this is an extremely cold site, and the acids can remain high despite a late harvest. This wine is beautifully balanced with 15.4% alcohol as well as lots of blueberry and black raspberry fruit, medium to full body, a layered mouthfeel and, again, the hallmarks of Officer’s winemaking – purity, texture and enormous hedonistic appeal. 94 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2012 Ridge Lytton Springs – The 2012 Lytton Springs is quite reserved, compact and inward at this stage. There is good density and depth in the glass, but the elements aren’t fully formed just yet. While most of Ridge’s 2012s are quite open today, that is not at all the case with the Lytton Springs. The 2012 is going to need time. In 2012, Lytton Springs is 70% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah, 7% Carignane and 4% Mataro (Mourvèdre). 93 points from Vinous.
  • 2012 Turley Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard – Bright, deep red. Pungent aromas of black raspberry, pepper and herbs, lifted by a mineral note from the limestone-rich soil. Wonderfully intense and energetic, with a light touch that belies its substantial alcohol. Captivating flavors of blackberry, herbs and lavender saturate the palate. Boasts a superb balance of sugar, acidity and tannins. This is spectacularly aromatic today but should really be held for a few years. 94 points from Stephen Tanzer.

Which 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel Should I Open

  • 2012 Ridge Lytton Springs (39%, 16 Votes)
  • 2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Dupratt Vineyard (32%, 13 Votes)
  • 2012 Turley Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard (29%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 41

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another.

Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the November Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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6 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel

  1. I chose Turley because it’s more accessible for me and it’s write-up is just as appealing as the Carlisle–if not better.

  2. I voted for the Carlisle. I always love the Ridge Lytton Springs, since you know it’s a good ager, and since it wasn’t completely knit together when reviewed, what’s the rush? 15.4% alc on the Carlisle! I know they often carry the alc well but reading percentages like that always scares me. How the heck do you even get there at Mendocino Ridge? I’d be interested to hear what you think. A tad raisiny possibly?

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