2006 The Estate 'Ancient Vine' Zinfandel
Zinfandel • Estate Vineyard - Crystal Valley Cellars
What we say
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Mission Codename: Honoring the Ancients
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Cosentino was selected by our Operatives and Agents as “Winery of the Year” in 2009. In honor of that award, return to Cosentino Winery in the Napa Valley to select a special wine that is representative of the winery’s winemaking prowess
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Cosentino Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 The Estate Ancient Vine Zinfandel
Winemakers: Mitch Cosentino
Backgrounder: Cosentino Winery in the Napa Valley has the distinction of being our best-selling winery of all time. Now in our third year of showcasing their wines, no single winery seems more beloved by our Operatives than Cosentino. And for good reason, too! Cosentino wines are an expression of both the vineyards from which they spring, but also of the winemaker, Mitch Cosentino himself. Mitch is a passionate man that brings a focus and depth of experience to his craft that is a delight to behold. Today’s wine was created in conjunction with basketball great, Larry Bird, in support of Bird’s own charitable efforts. The result is a delicious, complex and easy-drinking wine with a great deal of flavor and exciting character.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Cherry cola in color with bourbon reflections and pure garnet highlights around the rim. Ample, lengthy, tear shaped legs slowly make their way back down the edge of the glass as the wine comes to rest.
Smell – On opening, cigar box and baked fig are accompanied on the nose by soft sweetwoods. These are soon joined by blackberry, cinnamon red apple, tomato stem, maple, cream and blanched root vegetables. The smell of white pepper is clear while the scent of mixed warm spice lingers in the foreground.
Feel – This lively wine has a velvet mouth feel, bright zesty acids and a lovely round mid-palate. This Zinfandel is full bodied, with beautifully integrated tannins and a backbone that is built to last!
Taste – Loads of dark fruit! Plum and blueberry, anise and black cherry lead off. There are hints of fruit compote, rhubarb, subtle green pepper and lychee after allowing the wine to breathe.
Finish – The long soft finish lingers after each sip. Gentle fruit and a mild minerality continue throughout.
Conclusion – This is a stunning Lodi Zinfandel from our dear friends at Cosentino! Built to go very long on the palate, this wine provides long-lasting thrills that go way beyond your first sip – or your last. This wine is incredibly flavorful and great fun to drink. Serve with friends and family, if you can part with any of this wonderful wine. Enjoy on its own, or pair with ribs or bacon wrapped dates.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Mitch. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Estate Old Vine Zin today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
MITCH: Sure, I will answer what I can, although there might be some confidential info that has restrictions.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MITCH: Yes, watching my grandfather make wine for the family in the back of the “summerhouse” in the early 60’s when I was a little kid.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
MITCH: No one winemaker, but many. Winemaking legends from the old historical wineries like John Daniel of Inglenook, Andre Tchelistcheff of Beaulieu Vineyards, and Louis P. Martini, taught me thru their wines. Others like John Parducci, Edmund Rossi of the old Itaian Swiss Colony, Myron Nightingale of Beringer’s comeback in the late 70’s, Ed Sbragia (Myron’s protégé), George Bursick, Michael
Martini, John Turner were a wealth of information and help to me, personally.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
MITCH: I make wine for me and those who enjoy it, but I will not pander to those who want something out of balance. I won’t make something to fit a specific writer or publication.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
MITCH: I have made wine from this vineyard for a decade. This is the only Estate wine made from it. The property has five sections that are usually picked separately in the 17 acres of the vineyard. Certain blocks have gone into THE ZIN and CIGARZIN previously and while that has continued, in this wine we isolated individual barrels of a certain style that worked together to make this unique almost “reserve” style wine. The vines are over 90 years old.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MITCH: Barbeque pork ribs!
RED: In your opinion, what makes Lodi so special?
MITCH: It is one of the two best zinfandel regions, along with the Russian River Valley. This is mostly due to the age of vines and the old clones that exist there. The warmth of the region during the day and the cooler nights also play a part.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MITCH: Blending of new wines for upcoming bottlings.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
MITCH: With the idea of enjoying and enhancing your meals – and your life!
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
MITCH: Have fun, share the pleasure and don’t overdo it.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
What the winery says
About This Wine:
This is our first ESTATE Zinfandel. It is from our old head pruned vineyard surrounding the winery in Lockeford that was planted in the early 1900’s. It is a big, rich reserve style wine. Exotically spicy and rich, this wine is black fruit oriented with aromas of black cherry and currants. Rich and jammy, this is a very intense wine with blackberry and black pepper notes and lots of extraction.
100% Zinfandel from our own Lockeford Estate 90-100 year-old vines.
Aged for 16 months primarily in American and European oak with a little French oak. The wine is unfined.
About The Winery:
Lead by the spirit of creativity and innovation, Cosentino Winery was founded nearly 30 years ago with a commitment to making only the highest quality wines from California’s greatest vineyards.Because these same ideals ring as true today as they did in the beginning, Cosentino wines have steadily grown in quality and reputation over the years and are considered among many to be some of the finest wines made in the world.
The history of Cosentino Winery began when Mitch Cosentino started making his first wines in the corner of a Wine Distribution warehouse in 1980, in Modesto, California. By 1981, his first vintage was released under the labels of “The Cosentino Wine Company”and “Crystal Valley Cellars”. The first several wines produced and released by Cosentino in the early 1980s were made from small lots of grapes that Mitch acquired from some of the leading growers of California’s North Coast counties such as Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Sacramento Counties.
Cosentino rapidly gained recognition for his innovative winemaking abilities and uniquely crafted wines. Mitch was a pioneer in introducing new varietals into the California wine market and a leader in creating new wine blends that would eventually become commonplace in the industry. In fact, Cosentino Winery is widely recognized for its role in the development of California’s “Meritage” style wine, a Bordeaux – inspired blend that is now a staple throughout the Napa Valley when in 1989, Cosentino’s release of “The Poet” (1986 vintage), was America’s first designated and licensed “Meritage” wine. (Today, there are over 200 other wineries producing “Meritage” style wines.)
By 1989, Mitch was producing 4,000 cases per year and moved the “Cosentino Wine Company”/“Crystal Valley Cellars” to its current facility location in Yountville, California…situated in the heart of The Napa Valley. When the “Cosentino Winery” brand was established in the Napa Valley, Mitch began to negotiate and secure additional estate contracts and agreements with some of Napa’s top vineyards. These contracts and commitments allowed Mitch the ability to control the farming and harvesting of the grapes used to craft his wines. Today, Mitch still maintains contracts with many of these same growers which provide consistent quality to the wines.
In 1991, as Cosentino continued to produce multiple award winning and internationally recognized wines, he met a young couple from Chicago who had just enjoyed a bottle of Cosentino wine that would soon change all three of their lives forever.
Edie and Larry Soldinger were introduced to Cosentino Winery on a trip to Napa Valley in 1991 when they shared a bottle of Cosentino Winery’s “1986 Cabernet Franc”. They were so impressed with the wine that they sought out to find Mitch the very next day and to learn more about his winery.
Both Edie and Larry immediately recognized the potential of Cosentino Winery and they believed that they could provide an element that would help Cosentino Winery grow to keep up with its increasing demand and reputation.
By 1992, a deep relationship had evolved and Mitch Cosentino became partners with Edie and Larry, and together they began to take Cosentino Winery to its next level.
Throughout the 1990s, Cosentino Winery grew in quality and reputation, and as the demand for more wines continued, the Winery decided to purchase additional properties in the Napa Valley and Lodi regions of California.
In August 1999, the Winery purchased 160 acres in Pope Valley, a prime grape growing region nestled in the hills of Napa Valley, just north and east of the Yountville and Oakville appellations.
Additionally in August 2000, the Winery acquired a 20 acre vineyard in Lockeford, California, as well as 40 acres of virgin farmland in Clements, California…both located in the “Lodi” appellation.
The Company completed construction of its second ultra-premium winery, “Crystal Valley Cellars” on the Lockeford property in June 2004 and immediately began plans for an additional wine making facility on the Clements property, which was completed in 2006 and is now the new home of “Crystal Valley Cellars”.
The Pope Valley estate became home to Cosentino’s third ultra-premium winery, “CE2V Estate Winery”, which released its first vintage in 2001 with a 1999 “Estate” Red Meritage, and recently began producing on site with its new facility right on time for California’s 2007 Harvest.
Cosentino Wineries now operate from four “state of the art” facilities located in their vineyards throughout the heart and hills of Napa Valley, as well as in the flats and rolling hills of Lodi that rest near the base of the Sierra Mountains.
These multiple vineyard and facility locations allow Cosentino to comfortably meet the continual demand for its wines while having simultaneous control over the quality of production.
Cosentino Wineries maintain the role as a pioneer in the wine industry by continually creating new blends as well as finding and introducing relatively obscure varietals into the market place. The Company’s versatility allows it the creativity and freedom to develop new labels and add new brands to the stellar portfolio, of Cosentino Wineries, which also includes “Legends” (a joint venture with Larry Bird, the legendary basketball player), as well as the hand crafted boutique wines of the Napa Valley based “Blockheadia Winery”, both joining the family of wines in 2006.
Cosentino Signature Wineries proudly consists of five ultra premium wineries, currently offering over 50 different varietals between all their brands. Whether you’ve just fallen in love with a Cosentino wine for the first time or if you’ve been enjoying them for years, there’s always something new to discover.
The Cosentino Winery motto “Never Enough Wines” is as strong today as it has ever been!
Special Designation: Crystal Valley Cellars
Varietal: 100% Zinfandel