2021 Hartford Highwire Vineyard, Old Vine Zinfandel Russian River Valley
San Francisco attorney and entrepreneur Jess Jackson was an iconic figure in American Viticulture. He founded Jess Jackson Winery in 1984, popularizing the enjoyment of Chardonnay. During his lifetime he acquired 35 wineries throughout California including names such as Cardinale, Lokoya, Freemark Abbey, La Crema and many others. He was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame in 2009 and passed shortly thereafter in 2011 at the age of 81. Jennifer (Jenny) Jackson is his oldest daughter and co-owner of Jackson Family Wines, while her husband Don Hartford is the Vice-Chairman. Jenny Jackson and Don Hartford established Hartford Family Winery in Russian River Valley.
The Highwire Zinfandel is a much more serious bottling than the Russian River Valley Zinfandel. It retains a deep reddish purple color with heavenly aromas of holiday baking spices, cinnamon and clove. The mid-palate is lush with undertones of creamy blueberries, Oolong tea and savory earthy elements. There is a hint of sandalwood and a spice infused background. It all coalesces into a lengthy finish that ends on a youthful note suggesting it will stand the test of time in the cellar.
By W Peter Hoyne