Dry Creek Vineyard: Zinfandel Specialist



By Kori ~ January 5th, 2011.

Dry Creek Vineyard, founded in 1972 by David Stare, is located in the heart of Dry Creek Valley just outside of Healdsburg, California. Producers of a number of very good wines, Dry Creek Vineyard is a self-proclaimed “Zinfandel Specialist” and justifiably so. They produce more Zinfandel than anything else, five different bottlings in fact. Today, Dry Creek Vineyard is run by David’s daughter Kim Stare Wallace and her husband Don.

We recently had the opportunity to taste four Dry Creek Vineyard Zinfandels (all but their Late Harvest Zinfandel) in a blind samples tasting, the 2007 Somers Ranch Zin, the 2007 Beeson Ranch Zin, the 2007 Old Vine Zin, and the 2008 Heritage Zin. All four wines were good, but we especially enjoyed the Somers Ranch, interestingly the only one that is 100% Zinfandel.

Somers Ranch is located at the southern tip of the Dry Creek Valley. The vineyard sits on two adjacent hillsides and faces west which allows it to receive beneficial afternoon sun. The vines themselves were planted over 20 years ago. The 2007 Somers Ranch Zin is a limited production bottling with under 500 cases.

2007 Dry Creek Vineyard Somers Ranch Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley, California): 100% Zinfandel. Deep, dark red. Very aromatic with black cherry, floral notes, and buttered popcorn on the nose. More black cherry, cinnamon, and clove show through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $34

2007 Dry Creek Vineyard Beeson Ranch Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley, California): 97% Zinfandel and 3% Petite Sirah. Deep red in color. Aromatic with cherry and cinnamon on the nose; more dark cherry and spice come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium drying tannins, and a long, slightly hot, finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 1 bang for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $34

2007 Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley, California): 82% Zinfandel and 18% Petite Sirah. Medium deep ruby red. Very aromatic with smoky and beef jerky aromas that lead to red fruit flavors, especially strawberry. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium tannins, and a medium finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $28; Available elsewhere, $21 to $30

2008 Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel (Sonoma County, California): 82% Zinfandel and 18% Petite Sirah. Deep, ruby red in color. Nice nose with oak and plum aromas. Flavors of blackberry, black cherry, plum, and spice. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity, medium tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $19; Available elsewhere, $13 to $18


Filed under: American Wine, California Wine, Red Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25, Zinfandel

Reader's Comments

  1. Bill Smart | January 6th, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Hi All – awesome coverage and reviews! We’ll be sure to circulate this to our FB and Twitter friends.

    All the best to you in 2011!

    Cheers,

    Bill

  2. Kori | January 11th, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Bill,
    Thanks for sharing the link. Keep up the good work. Cheers!

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