2020 Dry Creek Vineyard, Spencer’s Hill Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley
In 1972, David Stare would purchase a 55-acre prune orchard in Dry Creek Valley transforming it into vineyards. Because of his love for Loire Valley whites, David would plant his first grapes to Sauvignon Blanc. These were the first Sauvignon Blanc vines introduced in Dry Creek Valley, which David used to craft the first Fume Blanc in Sonoma. By 1986, he would transition some of his land to Zinfandel vineyards. He championed the planting of Zinfandel in Dry Creek Valley and pioneered the term “Old Vine Zinfandel.” He was also instrumental in petitioning for Dry Creek Valley to be an AVA (American Viticultural Area), which occurred in 1983.
Named after winery owners Kim and Don Wallace’s son Spencer, this vineyard is situated at the top of a hill in Endeavour Vineyard within the Lytton Springs District of Dry Creek Valley. It is composed of 80% Zinfandel and 20% Petit Sirah grown in gravely, loam soils. This is an uber serious Zin that has a lot of pedigree and makes an immediate impression. The medium garnet hue leads you into a brambly wine with aromas of wild berries along with hints of roasted sage and thyme. There is a textured backbone of crushed spices intermixed with black fruits, earth and white pepper. The savoy notes pull you further into this opulent, yet well balanced wine leading you to a long and memorable finish.
By W Peter Hoyne