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2017 Zinfandel
Taylor Mountain Vineyard
Sonoma County (Bennett Valley)

Varietal: 80% Zinfandel/15% Petite Sirah/5% Grenache
Retail Price: $40.00
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Taylor Mountain Vineyard is nestled just below the saddle-shaped peak of Taylor Mountain, as depicted on the front label painting by well-known Sonoma Valley artist Michael Holland. When John Shakleford Taylor settled in Sonoma Valley in 1853, his land holdings were the largest under one name in all of Sonoma County. On his most prized land he planted Zinfandel and Mission grapes. The Watkins Family has farmed Zinfandel on this breathtaking property since 1979, and we have found that the dark fruit and spicy flavors of Petite Sirah blend perfectly with the boysenberry jam and pepper components of Zinfandel. The two rows of Grenache was a happy accident discovered years later, resulting in a delicious field blend Zinfandel.
To avoid the overripe flavors that many Zinfandel wines can express, the grapes were picked when they were at optimal ripeness, before many raisins could develop. During a 15 day fermentation in T-bin fermenters, the cap of grape skins was punched down two times daily until dryness. The wine was then aged in Ermitage and Remond French oak barrels (25% new) for 20 months before bottling.
These low-yielding head trained vines produce a concentrated and complex wine that is a great example of hillside-grown Zinfandel. The wine has humongous fruit yet perfectly balanced acidity and alcohol. It pairs well with spicier, saltier dishes such as paella with peppered chicken and spicy sausage or baby back ribs.

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Watkins Zinfandel Petite Sirah wine label

The painting on the label by well-known Sonoma Valley artist Michael Holland depicts the Watkins Family estate vineyard on Taylor Mountain.

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