Castlebank Vineyards 'Giulia's Vineyard' Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012
By Jonathan H. Newman*
Castlebank 2012 Dry Creek Valley Old Vines Giulia’s Zinfandel by Jim Pedroncelli
UNIT SIZE: 750.00 ml
GRAPE: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah
COUNTRY: United States
REGION: Dry Creek Valley
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 14.80%
This spring I travelled to the Valley and met with Jim Pedroncelli at the Goose and Gander Restaurant in Napa Valley to sample his recent wines. Jim is an amazing person; he has incredible knowledge of the wine industry and is one of the nicest people I have met. He has been making wine since before I was born and yet he walks on a tear and has one of the best work ethics I have seen. The 12 vintage of the newly released Castlebank is one of the supplest and delicious Zinfandels I have sampled from Jim Pedroncelli. And I have been visiting with Jim over the past 15 years and he has made some mighty fine zinfandels over the years. This is his single vineyard Zinfandel and it’s from Old Vines in the top growing region for Zin. Most would agree that Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley is the place for consistently producing well-made and distinctive Zinfandel. These vines are almost 40 years old with some dating back to pre-prohibition. This wine was harvested at the end of September in picture perfect conditions where Mother Nature cooperated in every way. The wine spent 11 months in American Oak, 30% of which is new, it has a touch of Petite Verdot. 2012 was a big and beautiful crop in the Dry Creek Valley. The fruit is classical Zin made in a lush style with loads of red berries, blueberries, root beer, vanilla oak and a cinnamon spice box.
By Castlebank Vineyards
Giulia's Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012
Grapes: 92% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah, 3% Merlot
Aging: 11 Months in 30% new American oak barrels
We harvested the grapes over the last week of September, before the rain. The resulting fruit retained well-developed flavor, outstanding balance and deep quality of fruit. During fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, the cellar crew performed daily pumpovers-extracting color and flavor from the skins. The wine was aged in American oak barrels for 11 months. A touch of Petite Sirah 5% adds layers of color, structure, and tannin to our Zinfandel.
This is a classic Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. Aromas of raspberry and allspice lead to Bing cherry and strawberry flavors framed by subtle black pepper spice. Well-integrated flavors with well balanced acidity and warm toasty oak are a hallmark of our style.
[Info provided by J.H.N.]
*Jonathan Newman was Wine Enthusiasts’ Man of the Year. He also was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and received national recognition in Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch Magazine and many other international wine publications. He was also awarded the Guild of Sommeliers highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Newman's reviews have been published and quoted extensively online and in print. He travels extensively to many of the major wine growing regions and evaluates many of the wines we source from smaller and boutique wineries. We interact closely with him and the result is his rejection rate of over 96% of the wines evaluated.