Friday, August 17, 2018

Big Zinfandel From Dry Creek Valley

Collier Falls is right next to Bella Winery's property and farmed by Barry Collier.  He's caring for land that was planted by Italian immigrants in Dry Creek Valley more than a hundred years ago.  The Micheli family started it and the Zinfandel grapes still hang from those vines today. 

The 2015 Bella Collier Falls Zinfandel is a pure Zinfandel - as pure as those century-old vines can be, considering the ancient habit of growing various grapes willy-nilly in the same vineyard.  Winemaker Joe Healy has been with Bella for some 17 years.  The wine's alcohol stands tall at 14.7% abv.  The wine was vinified and aged in American oak barrels, a third of which were new.  It retails for $45.

This wine is medium-dark ruby in color, fairly opaque with some light getting through.  Its nose and palate are both perfumed with jammy, dark fruit and peppery spices.  After sitting in the glass for a few minutes, a gorgeous aroma of smoke appears and more savory note comes to the tongue.  Cedar and vanilla play a role, but the oak aging is overdone in such a dramatic way, it's hard to complain.  This is still a great Zinfandel, so expressive despite the heavy-hand in the cellar.