The 2014 Zinfandel Russian River (1,500 cases) is full-bodied, offering terrific black raspberry and black cherry fruit and peppery, earthy, meatiness. Very lush, with well-integrated wood, alcohol and acidity, this is a beauty with a sensational texture and length. Drink it over the next 7-8 years. With proprietor Don Hartford in full control, and brilliant winemaker Jeff Stewart having access to some magnificent cool-climate sites (for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel), Hartford Family Winery continues to be one of the great success stories in California viticulture. The Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs all have very Burgundian personalities, no doubt from the minimal-interference winemaking, great terroirs and terrific raw materials. The Zinfandels are certainly among the top half-dozen or so Zinfandels produced in all of California. I have always had fabulous tastings with Don Hartford and his winemaker, but this may have been the best tasting ever, largely because of the strength of the 2014 Chardonnays and Zinfandels and the 2013 Pinot Noirs. (RP)
Plump and fleshy, with a dense core of focused tannins and lively acidity. Aromas of ripe black raspberry, anise and licorice open to layered, slightly jammy flavors of black cherry, blueberry pie and smoky cracked pepper. Drink now through 2024. 2,200 cases made.
The 2014 Zinfandel (Russian River Valley) is dark, juicy and flavorful, with plenty of acid kick to prop up the flavors, dark cherry, blackberry, spice and violets are pushed forward. Drink this delicious Zinfandel over the next few years. This is an impressive set of wines from proprietor Don Hartford and winemaker Jeff Stewart. Hartford sources fruit from some of the top sites in Sonoma, and it comes through in the pedigree of these wines. I tasted most of the Chardonnays and Pinots from tank prior to bottling, while all of the Zinfandels were in bottle. Speaking of Zinfandel, once again, I came away from my tasting at Hartford thinking these are the best wines in the range. (AG)
2016 Mengler "Rita's Block Alegria Vineyard" Russian River Valley Red Blend (Previously $50)
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