Bold, bright flavors and an almost electric texture stretch this wine as taut as a guitar string and make it enormously fun to drink. While many Zinfandels are fat and taste sweet, this one brings wonderful tight acidity and a lively layer of fine tannins to make it virtually vibrate across the tongue. With all that nerve, it will improve if cellared through at least 2020. (JG)
Here is a solidly structured and deeply filled wine that capably reminds how good Fiddletown Zins can be, and, while far from delicate, it is surprisingly well-polished for the big, strapping wine that it is. It is full and firm with plenty of fruit-buffered tannins, and, if it winds up with enough finishing astringency to commend a wait, all that stands between it and balanced beauty is four or five years of rest. This one is a keeper.
Winemaker's Notes: "The Rinaldi Vineyard in Fiddletown dates back to 1865, and is one of the oldest in the state. We do not blend this wine with other Zinfandels in our cellar. EASTON Fiddletown Zinfandel, Old Vine is always 100% Zinfandel from the Rinaldi Vineyard. We approach making the wine from this vineyard in much the same way a good winemaker would approach a grand cru vineyard in Burgundy. We want to reveal what the fruit has to offer each year in all of its purity, not obscure it.
These old vines barely provide a crop each year. The vineyard is about as old as they come in California with vines dating to the original planting in 1865. When you gaze on the vineyard on a cold Spring day after the vines have been pruned, the thousands of stout, thickly trunked vines are not unlike a amorphous Henry Moore sculpture, arms raised, pleading with the heavens for enough water to grow for another year. This vineyard is farmed with simplicity: pruning, plowing, and finally picking at the perfect time determined by our winemaker. Every year the wines are different and a revelation. This is one of our most highly regarded Zinfandels and will age well for another 5 - 10 years."
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