Zinfandel is ever the chameleon. No other red grape variety grown in California can change form quite like Zinfandel, depending upon terroir as well as the whim of the winemaker. Talty’s style of Zinfandel embodies elements of Old and New World winemaking, resulting in a wine that exhibits both dense fruit and a tannic backbone along with all of the brambly elements that Dry Creek Valley happily imparts to its finest Zinfandels. Rich in color and pleasantly aromatic with savory scents of berry and bramble, the 2013 Talty Dry Creek Valley Estate Zinfandel immediately establishes itself as serious Zinfandel. No blowsy raisined or half-baked fruit in this wine. On the palate, Talty’s flagship wine offers deep-down fruit flavors infused with bramble, spice, and plenty of structured, chewy tannins to satisfy the most ardent Zinfandel aficionado as well as those whose tastes gravitate to the big Cabernets of Napa. The 2013 Talty Dry Creek Valley Estate Zinfandel personifies Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel – a wine whose bold flavors personify its distinctive New World home at the same time that they recall its Old World origins. For optimum enjoyment we strongly suggest affording the 2013 Talty Dry Creek Valley Estate Zinfandel at least 20-30 minutes of aeration before consuming at cool room temperature (60°-64°). Enjoy!
Given its Dry Creek origin and unique personality the 2013 Talty Dry Creek Valley Estate Zinfandel provides the ideal partner to foods rich in flavor, spice, and soul, whether that be at a fine dinner party or as a mid-week treat. As a distinctive American wine of European origin, consider serving Talty’s sassy 2013 Dry Creek Zinfandel with Braised Lamb Shanks or Loin Lamb Chops served with flash fried broccolini. A seasoned New York Strip grilled to perfection and accompanied by a creamy mushroom risotto provides another winning combination. For those looking for something leaner, consider pairing Talty’s Zin with Ground Turkey and White Bean Chili. Veggie burgers topped with goat cheese and organic greens also provide tasty complements to this Zin. Many traditional Italian and Mediterranean classics make good companions, too. Penne Pasta with Tomatoes, Olives, Havarti and Parmesan Cheeses or nearly any pasta with a creamy Bolognese sauce pairs beautifully with Talty’s tasty estate Zinfandel. Burrata and Pasta Fresca, made with fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil, vine ripe tomatoes, olive oil, and herbs also make a splendid statement in the company of Talty’s 2013 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. Buon Appetito!
Talty Vineyards grows and produces only one varietal, Zinfandel, in the heart of Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. Dry Creek has been dubbed “Zinfandel Country” because of the quintessential quality of Zinfandel that emanates from the appellation and the sheer proliferation of old vines that grow dry-farmed and head-pruned in Dry Creek Valley.
Talty is a tiny estate named in honor of William Talty, proprietor Michael Talty’s father, whose dream it was to own a vineyard and winery. Michael Talty purchased the property in 1997 and quickly turned it into one of California’s most prized Zinfandel estates. Although Talty remains a diminutive six-acre estate devoted solely to Zinfandel, the quality of each of the Zinfandels from this boutique venture is irrefutable, as is the meticulous care and attention given each small batch. Talty’s old vines (the vineyard was planted in 1963) are cropped to 2 tons per acre or less to ensure the ultimate in concentration and intensity. All of Talty’s Zinfandels are fermented with wild yeasts in open-top bins before spending at least a year in barrel and an additional year in bottle before release.
Talty presently fashions four top Zinfandels, the William Talty Estate Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel (this month’s feature) and three single vineyard offerings, including a tiny production from Dry Creek’s Buchignani Garcia Vineyard. Although not a Talty wine, Michael Talty’s talented nephew, Dustin Pfaff, fashions an outstanding Petite Sirah at Talty from the prized Bernier Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley.
Although its DNA points to Eastern Europe’s Primitivo grape as its ancestor, and its New World appearance still remains under investigation, Zinfandel has been dubbed “America’s own grape variety.” In California, Zinfandel produces a wine quite different from its Croatian and Italian forebears, and nowhere is that more apparent and welcome than in Sonoma County – the spiritual home of Zinfandel. In Dry Creek Valley and along the banks of Sonoma County’s Russian River, Zinfandel relishes the cooling Pacific breezes that funnel up the appellations’ canyons and valleys as its fruit basks in the long, dry summer afternoons, which not surprisingly bring the grape to the pinnacle of perfection. Zinfandel’s deep, rich colors, intense berry, bramble, and herb flavors, high alcohol, and lush tannins result in wines that fill the mouth and satisfy all of the senses. One of Zinfandel’s keys to success is its extraordinary lifespan, which enables it to produce quality fruit well into old age. In fact, the oldest Zinfandel vineyards (many in California are in excess of 100 years of age) are the most prized. Zinfandel can be quite versatile, too (think White Zinfandel as well as many of California’s most celebrated and intense red wines). As an immigrant to our shores, Zinfandel embodies the American experience. It is a grape that has transformed itself over the last century and a half and honed its own unique identity. In the eyes of many, Zinfandel has evolved into a bigger, better, and more complex grape since its arrival in America, and acquired an attitude and identity all of its own.
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