Estate Dry Creek Zinfandel is Buy of the Vintage
From California’s 2015s, almost nothing beats a Sonoma old-vine Zinfandel like this gorgeous release from Saini, a fifth-generation winemaking family cultivating 87-year-old vines. Showing nearly unprecedented quality, the vintage for the region’s Zinfandels won a 92-95 rating from Wine Spectator, the most promising score of the last 20+ years. Antonio Galloni raved over Sonoma’s 2015s as “sensational” and “exotic, viscerally thrilling wines endowed with phenomenal purity, depth, and intensity.” Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, comparing Sonoma 2015 to “great music with the volume turned up,” directed readers to seek out the “stunning” old- and ancient-vine Zinfandels from Dry Creek Valley. For the price, Saini’s Dry Creek Zinfandel is the buy of the vintage, judged unanimously by our Master of Wine Matt Deller and Master Sommelier Sur Lucero to be the best $16.99 Zinfandel they’ve tasted all year. Less than 1,000 cases were produced, sourced straight from Saini’s ancient estate vineyards. At 29% off the winery price of $24, it’ll move very fast.
Saini is famous throughout the Dry Creek Valley AVA for their head-trained old vines, continuously tended by the same family for over 100 years. Their name in the region dates back Micele Saini’s 1908 immigration to the States from Genova, Italy. Gravelly loam soil and hot days and cool nights define the terroir of Saini’s blocks, birthing single-vineyard wines that Parker has praised as “savory, exuberant and luscious … just terrific.”
This hand-sorted blend from Saini’s best blocks achieves liftoff thanks to winemaker Ashley Herzberg (who consults at Mauritson and Bacigalupi) and her interpretation of the brilliant 2015 vintage. “It was another very dry year, making for super low yields and awesome concentration,” Herzberg told us. “Weather conditions were perfect throughout. No late rain, chilly frosts, or heat spikes. Just perfect.” Sonoma’s best Zin vintage of the last two decades meets Dry Valley’s family-cultivated vines nearly 90 years old. At $16.99 a bottle, do the math and hit “Buy” before the window closes.