Joel Peterson and Paul Draper Protege’s Claret-Like Reds
Bill Knuttel’s Claret-like Ottimino Zinfandels have garnered over 500 5-star ratings and reviews from Wine Access clients — one of the highest totals in our history for any winery’s under-$20 reds. Knuttel’s mastery at extracting single-parcel hits from some of Sonoma’s oldest vines is matched by his knack for crafting a cult master blend each year from his single-vineyard bottlings, called Zinfinity. The fruit sources for this 2014 Ottimino “Zinfinity” Zinfandel include the ancient-vine plot Biglieri, Windsor Oak, D. Rafanelli, and Knuttel’s pride and joy, Ottimino Estate, set in the heart of Russian River Valley on a bench of prized Goldridge soils, adjacent to Dutton Ranch. Thanks to our longstanding relationship with Knuttel — and his allergy to making cross-country sales trips — we’re once again able to offer this phenomenal assemblage at an incredible value, just $14.99 per bottle for one of the top old-vine bargains of the year.
Fashioning rich, juicy, wild-berry Zinfandels braced by cool-climate vibrancy, Knuttel has earned a reputation as one of the most talented Zin-makers in Sonoma, following in the steps of his mentors, Joel Peterson at Ravenswood and Paul Draper at Ridge. Sonoma’s 2014 vintage for Zinfandel was the greatest in over a decade, with Wine Spectator delivering a 94-point vintage rating, lifting the fortunes of all, and delivering what may be the most luscious Ottimino effort yet, infused with exquisite primary-fruit aromas.
Much like the great Napa Cabernets of the vintage, this 2014 isn’t simply rich, but beautifully structured and almost Claret-like, a throwback to the phenomenally age-worthy Paul Draper Zins of the 1980s and early 1990s. As good as cool-climate Sonoma Zinfandel ever gets for under $20 per bottle, this is a stone-cold case buy while it lasts.