2016 Live Oak Zinfandel

$37
Club Price: $29.60
90 points
The International Wine Review

The Live Oak Zin is known for its dimension of ripeness and individuality. This wine is a classic example of the big Zinfandels, for which Cline Cellars has become known. The 2016 Live Oak Zinfandel displays notes of sweet berries, spice, and black currants. The wine has a firm, balanced structure of acid and fine-grained tannins.

Our Live Oak Zinfandel is named for Live Oak Road in Oakley, California. The vineyards run adjacent to this road and consistently produce some of our most complex, concentrated and unique lots of Zinfandel. Cline Cellars has chosen to dry-farm the ancient, head-pruned vines. A practice employed by the Italian and Portuguese immigrants that planted this vineyard well before the turn of the century. The Oakley terroir is characterized by the hot sun, sandy soil, and a unique band of air that flows from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. The terroir also contributes to this areas resistance to phylloxera. Ultimately, this produces a stunning and concentrated Zinfandel.

The grapes from the Live Oak Vineyard were harvested at high natural sugar levels and treated gently in the cellar to emphasize the explosive fruit characteristic of the block. The fruit was almost entirely de-stemmed and lightly crushed, with a large proportion of whole berries remaining in the must. Fermentation occurred at moderate temperatures in stainless steel tanks, using a selection of cultured yeasts. After eight days of gentle “pump-overs” and near dryness, we drained and pressed the wine from its skins. The Live Oak Zin was minimally handled before being put down to barrel. The wine was aged for 8 months in 40% new, medium –toasted, French oak barrels.

Vintage
2016
Wine Type
Red Wine
Varietal
Zinfandel
Appellation
Contra Costa County
Harvest Date
August 22-30
Acid
.63g/100ml
pH
3.68
Alcohol %
16

Tasting Notes & Pairings

The 2016 Live Oak Zinfandel displays notes of sweet berries, spice, and black currants. The wine has a firm, balanced structure of acid and fine-grained tannins. It would pair well with roasted or grilled meats, as well as, hearty pasta dishes.

Top 12 Zinfandels from $20

– Wine Spectator