A luxurious Zinfandel offers notes of berries, spice, and everything nice! We have just welcomed a new vintage of our popular Jewel Collection Zinfandel to the Ruby Hill tasting room. To commemorate this splendid wine, we’re shining the sensory spotlight on our Jewel Zin, exploring its flavors, its best pairings, and what makes it special.
Appearance and Aroma
The first senses to engage when familiarizing yourself with a wine are sight and smell. Take a look at the color of the wine, observing if it has any sediment or other flavorful features you can pick out just by looking. This Zinfandel is a saturated crimson, dark enough that it’s an inky purple in your glass. Give the glass a swirl observing the light as it comes through the fringes of the ripple. Swirling also opens up the luxe aromas. With this wine, expect a gorgeously dense and juicy aroma of jammy fruit, raspberry, marionberry, and strawberry. Notes of blackberry jam or raspberry preserves are common for Zinfandel. This merry medley of berry character will continue through on the palate.
Flavor and Texture
Start slow as you take a sip. Allow the Zinfandel to visit each area of your tastebuds and note the way it feels. An exceptionally rich and hearty structure of smoothly refined tannins offers an intensely satisfying texture on the palate. As you enjoy this sensation, the familiar flavors of berry and cherry heralded by the aroma are fulfilled on the palate. These fruit tones are joined and deepened by concentrated notes of dried fruit, both plum and craisin, while accents of chocolate and cloves round out these lavish flavors. Enjoy a lingering fruity finish that draws you in for your next sip!
We recommend tasting this Zinfandel on a fresh palate or after enjoying wines on the lighter side. Starting with a darker and heavier wine, like a Petite Sirah, may muddle the flavors. After enjoying on a fresh palate, consider pairing this Zin with your favorite cheese. Zin is a versatile varietal and pairs well with manchego, cheddar, havarti, and more. For a more substantial pairing, Zinfandel is an ideal dinner wine. We enjoy the sweetness and spice of this Zinfandel alongside smoky caramelized notes of smoked or barbecued lamb, pork, or poultry. Think rich and robust!
A Step Above
Our Jewel Collection wines receive premium treatment and special attention at each step in the winemaking process, allowing us to emphasize different characteristics of the varietal while setting it apart from our phenomenal Reserve Collection wines. We farm the small block from which we harvest fruit for this Jewel Zin with a focus on optimum fruit purity and quality. Each vine is carefully pruned and excess fruit is removed so the remaining clusters are richly concentrated with all the best flavor. Additionally, this wine was aged in oak barrels selected specifically for the interplay of oak notes with our estate grown Zinfandel. For the 2020 vintage, we chose a combination of 80% French oak and 20% American oak barrels and aged this Zin for 21 months before bottling.
It's the time of year that a beautiful transformation spreads over the vineyard. The grapes are graduating from the growth phase and into the ripening phase, a milestone called veraison. Come along with us in this photo gallery to see what veraison looks like around the Ruby Hill estate vineyard.
Like many good things, veraison takes time. Little by little, this Sangiovese cluster is just beginning to take on its mature coloring.
This vine of Cabernet Sauvignon is also beginning its color change. As the lavender tones creep in, the vines and leaves will mature alongside the fruit.
In some blocks of the vineyard, you can spot some varietal personalities. Our Petite Sirah, pictured above, is already becoming dark and vibrant, just like its future in the bottle.
With all of the rain we got earlier this year, we saw immense growth in the vineyard, and we are headed toward a true bumper crop this harvest.
Even our baby vines like this one are producing beautiful and bountiful fruit, promising a productive future.
Veraison is a time of transition, with clusters changing at their own rates, even within the same vine. You can spot dappled colors alongside clusters that are completely purple or completely green.
It's always a delight to take a peek at the playful polka dots of purple, pink, and more throughout the veraison period.
During this stage, we also begin a process called leafing, which involves strategically removing leaves so the grapes receive the generous morning sun but are still shaded from the harsher afternoon rays. This helps the grapes reach a healthy maturity for making the best wines!
Veraison is just as much an internal change as an external one. In addition to their new color, the grapes will earn the glowing translucence that comes with ripeness.
This veraison is much later than average because of the peculiar weather. Still, some ambitious clusters like this Sangiovese have taken on their color quite suddenly.
Still, it will be a long while before all of our grapes are at peak quality to become the wines you love.
Our happy healthy vines promise an exciting harvest season to come in the autumn.
If you want to experience a trip through the vineyard and learn more about the history and philosophy of Ruby Hill and Livermore Valley Wine Country, consider booking a Mello Cielo Vineyard Experience Bus Tour! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy complimentary ground shipping when you order 6 or more bottles.
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