Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month – 2011 Hartford Family Winery Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The January Zinfandel of the Month is the 2011 Hartford Family Zinfandel Russian River Valley Old Vine.

Hartford Family Winery was founded in 1994 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford’s appreciation for the wines, the people, and the unique vineyards near their Russian River Valley home. Located in the Sonoma County town of Forestville, the winery is about 15 miles from the cool Pacific Coast. Jeff Stewart is the Hartford Family Winemaker.

Bright red in color. 15% ABV. Big nose of black fruits, cracked pepper and raspberry liqueur. Medium body with light to medium acidity. Fresh and elegant claret style Zinfandel. Blackberry, black cherry, tea and vanilla on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. Pretty Zinfandel from a tough vintage. Drink over the next 1-2 years.

My rating: 89 points.

The 2014 Hartford Family Zinfandel was the Number 10 Wine of the Year in the Wine Spectator Top 100. I had never tried Hartford Family so I set out to find a bottle locally to see what all the fuss was about. I found the 2011 at the compelling price of $24 although I believe the 2014 is priced closer to $35. Given what was in the bottle I will be looking for the 2014 as well.

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