David Noyes Wines
2007 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
California: Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma)
What we say
Today’s wine delivers a drinking experience well above its price, earning it this special QPR (Quality to Price Ration) alert.
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Mission Codename: One Four Zero
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Our Operatives have been clamoring for a great Zinfandel. Rendezvous with winemaker, David Noyes, and procure his latest Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: David Noyes Wines
Wine Subject: 2007 Zinfandel – Dry Creek Valley
Winemaker: David Noyes
Backgrounder: Since 1970, winemaker David Noyes has made fine wines, all around the world, and for some incredible wineries. Early in his career, David made wine at Ridge and Kunde Estate. In 2006, David left Kunde to launch his own label. Today, as then, David is especially well-known for his delicious Zinfandels and Pinot Noirs, and we are proud to bring you David’s wonderful 2007 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below.
Zinfandel is related to the Italian Primitivo grape, tracing its origin to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski. Zinfandel is one of the most versatile varietals with the ability to make wines, both rich to fruity, dark to light, and dry to sweet. Sonoma Valley Old Vine Zinfandels, which are characterized by their refinement and balance, are extraordinarily popular with our Operatives.
Today’s wine is made from famous Dry Creek Valley vineyard sources that range in age from 40 years old to 100 years old.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Light Burgundy hues that deepen as you look inward from the edges of the wine to its darker core. Maintaining clarity throughout, this wine has a pure look to it. Spin the wine and then watch thin legs streak down the edges of the glass.
Smell – This wine leads with lush cherry, blackberry, red currant and dark red flower petals. After some swirling, additional aromas of dark strawberry, subtle orange peel, dark spice and black pepper emerge.
Feel – Soft and silky across the mid palate. Then, the wine becomes softly grippy, starting at the tip of the tongue and moving backward. Eventually, the lips, cheeks and tongue succumb to a soft dryness.
Taste – Bursting with dark berries, this wine leads with ripe blackberry, blueberry, cassis and dark cherry. These are soon joined by dusty bramble, boysenberry and soft leather.
Finish – Long and filled with dark berry flavor. As the wine drys the palate, a soft black pepper and easy minerality gradually replace the elegant fruit.
Conclusion – This is a very delicious Zinfandel that pleased everyone on our tasting panel, even our guest taster, Agent Tinta, who is notoriously difficult to please when it comes to California Zin. David’s natural approach to winemaking shines through in this minimally handled wine. So too does his skill at selecting and blending the best fruit from the best vineyard sources. This is no over-the-top monster of a Zinfandel. Rather, it is an easy drinking wine that is wonderfully balanced and very elegant. With plenty of flavor, it is an exciting wine, too. We paired ours with grilled fillet Mignon and a bountiful garden salad. If you are a fan of great Zinfandel, we recommend this wine – heartily!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: David Noyes
WINE EDUCATION: Ridge Vineyards and UCDavis
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Currently making my own wine, working, consulting…
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: If it tastes good, they will drink it.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: Wish I could encapsulate the numinous quality of wine in a single sentence…glad I cannot…
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Under my own label, 2001 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir…first commercial vintage I had a hand in…1970…oh that’s a long time ago!
AGENT RED: Greetings, David. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
DAVID: Thank you
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
DAVID: Not really, I like to say I grew up in Palo Alto during the 60’s and wine was just one of the mind and mood altering paths we all enjoyed…Wine begins in the earth—there’s nothing more grounded than farming, yet, once in the bottle its as subject to fad, fancy and folly as any item of fashion or style. I find the spectrum fascinating.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
DAVID: Both David Bennion and Paul Draper of Ridge had profound effects—the Dionysian and Apollonian, as someone said. Wine as a sensual product and an expression of earthy pleasure as well as a calling, a profession and a practice…
RED: Who do you make wine for?
DAVID: For myself, of course, but I enjoy pleasing people, so, for others…I like to make wine that I believe most people can relate to, can enjoy sensually…That said there’s also a story that appeals to the emotions and a respect for tradition and for style that can appeal to the intellect.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
DAVID: There’s more there than I can fit into a few words…it’s a product of 3 zin vineyards, 2 petite sirah vineyards and one old vine carignane vineyard, all within the Dry Creek appellation. The zin vines date from the 1880’s to about 1995. I like working with old vines, but the younger vineyards are well farmed and offer some great flavors as well. The Buchinagni vineyard lies the furthest North, up near Canyon Road and gives a distinctive ripe cherry flavor to the blend. Teldeschi, just North of mid-valley offers great aromatics and juicy blackberry fruit, while the West vines, the youngest, but planted in the best soil for Dry Creek Zin, a kind of pink decomposed granite, give a classic zin raspberry and spice component. Petite sirah from both sides of the valley, Mounts and Teldeschi, offer color, tannin and depth to the blend, while the old vine carignane from the Saini property just North of Lytton Springs Road provides a kind of binder to it all…Aged in ~25% new US oak, the wine has both substance and style, and at 14.5% alcohol is what we used to consider a ‘big’ zin…
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
DAVID: Roast chicken is one of my favorites with young zin, but wild mushroom risotto comes a close second, or first depending upon the mood…
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Dry Creek Valley so special?
DAVID: Dry Creek, and mid-Alexander Valley zins from the West side of the valley offer both richness and suppleness—at maturity levels that produce table wines, 13.5—14.5% alcohol. I know, I know I’ve tasted and made zins that taste, and feel balanced at 15.5% and up, but, for me, they just don’t work at dinner…I get flushed happy, incoherent and better avoided…
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
DAVID: Well I really work 3 jobs, my own wines—working at the cellar where my wines are made and consulting which takes me to S. America…so I’m involved in blending, bottling, and musing on what would improve my artisanal offerings…
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
DAVID: I like, currently, the metaphor of fashion…choose your wine as you would choose your clothes, or what ever it pleases you to make a choice in…ultimately it is a all matter of choice. Please, drink my wine as an homage to the tradition of zinfandel winemaking in California, or because it tastes good!
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
DAVID: I think I’ve said enough…
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!
Wine Spies Winery Check:
The location of the tasting room where David’s incredible wines can be found can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
The best of Dry Creek Zin… blended with petite sirah and old vine Carignane…complex aromas of ripe cherries, rose petal, sage and cinnamon. Full-bodied with enough tannin for aging, but rich enough to enjoy immediately…lingering aftertaste of red currant and blackberry jam.
I fell in love with Zinfandel over 30 years ago while working at Ridge Vineyards, and especially those wines from Dry Creek vineyards that include petite sirah and carignane. Petite Sirah adds depth and tannin, old vine Carignane melds the flavors together with a herbal or spicy component. The mix of vineyards and varieties gives both completeness and mystery.
The age of the vines that provided fruit for this wine ranges from 10 to 100 years old, the average age works out to about 50 years. No other grape speaks as eloquently, or exuberantly to California’s wine history. Enjoy!
Food Pairing: Young zin calls out for roast or barbequed chicken, ribs or a fine charbroiled burger. With age I expect this wine to pair well more with more softly flavored pastas, stews and roasts.
About The Winery:
I founded DAVID NOYES WINES to fulfill my life-long dream to provide wines that connect us to the natural world, to winemaking traditions, and that provide tangible expressions of the mysteries of time, place and transformative experience. More specifically, (and less poetically), my wines provide unique expressions of pinot noir and other varietals from selected Sonoma County vineyards. My winemaking techniques are selected to minimize handling and maximize the individuality, flavor and balance of each lot.
My winemaking career began in the cellar at Ridge Vineyards in 1970, between then and now I’ve worked in Monterey, Mendocino, Livermore, France and Sonoma Valley. In 1989 I began work with the Kunde family to create Kunde Estate Winery; I started my own label in 2001, and in 2006 left Kunde to devote myself entirely to DAVID NOYES WINES.
DAVID NOYES WINES consists of myself, my wife Grace, and our generous family and friends. We produce small lots of pinot noir, zinfandel, chardonnay and tocai friulano from selected Sonoma County vineyards located in the Russian River, Dry Creek, and Sonoma Valleys. These wines express the character of the vineyard, vintage, and my own esthetic judgment, informed through over 30 years of experience in the creation of noteworthy, well-regarded, premium wines; they offer distinct personality, balance and an excellent complement to fine cuisine.
WINEMAKING STYLE – My wines are meant to accompany food; neither wine nor food need overpower the palate to provide an overwhelming experience! The aim is for a ‘rich, balanced style’, full-flavored wines that express the best of our California fruit, yet do not overwhelm with alcohol, extract or oak. I find such wines offer more individual expression, better pairings with food and more personality.
GRACE NOYES, WOW – As the Wife of Winemaker (WOW), I am privileged to meet great folks, drink awesome wines, and eat wonderful food, in short, to have fun with my clever winemaker husband and our dynamic friends and family. Dave makes acclaimed wines and I, as WOW, provide humor and whimsy to keep us from taking ourselves too seriously. Over 96.5% I know about the enjoyment, making and marketing of wine I learned after meeting Dave in 1995.
I practice chiropractic in the Sonoma Valley, having graduated from Palmer College on Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in 1978. Donna Nassar, D.C. was my name before I married Dave in 1997. Besides my WOW and DC hats, I often don other hats including; wedding minister, artist and writer.
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley
Blend: 75% Zinfandel (West 34%, Garcia Old Vine 27%, Teldeschi old vine 14%); 11% Carignane Saini Old Vine; 14% Petite Sirah Teldeschi & Mounts
Aging: 17 months, 25% new US oak
Bottled: March 2009
TA: 0.61 g/100ml
Longevity: 5-10 years
Production: 455 Cases