2015 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel RRV

Year: 2015
Appellation: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 91
Vinous Media: 87
Connoisseurs' Guide: 87
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 15.7%
Price :

"Plump and ripe, this maintains balance and finesse, offering accents of blackberry and raspberry, with licorice, bittersweet chocolate and spice notes. Drink now through 2026. 1,301 cases made.–TF " (WS)

"The 2015 Zinfandel (Russian River Valley) is dark, plump and juicy, all of which make it a good choice for drinking now and over the next year or two. Black fruit, chocolate and cloves contribute to an impression of darkness and, at times, also heaviness." (VM)

"There is nothing shy or retiring about this wine, and it goes right to the limit in terms of high ripeness, but even as it teeters on going over the edge, it is pulled back from the dangerous brink by its ample blackberry and blueberry fruit. That fruit is tested on the latter palate by both high alcohol and astringency, yet it never gives up the fight and it keeps the wine from descending into raisiny desiccation. That said, this is not a "spaghetti red" for pouring with simple, marinara-sauced pastas, and it needs to be saved as a foil for much heartier fare, preferably once a couple of years have passed. Reviewed: January 2017" (CG)

Winery Notes:
The Russian River Valley Zinfandel is a reflection of the quality of the vineyards involved in making this wine. This Zin comes almost exclusively from the Jensen Lane Vineyard (planted in 1915), the Limerick Lane Vineyard (planted in 1910), the Carlisle Vineyard (planted in 1927), and the Papera Ranch Vineyard (planted in 1932). These older vine vineyards give us great fruit quality and concentration, while their Russian River Valley location helps provide good, crisp acidity making for a Zinfandel that is lively and extremely well-balanced.

The 2015 vintage in California was defined by scarcity. Yields were down across the state and across most varietals. Interestingly enough, Zinfandel came in with closer to normal yields than many other varieties. The 2015 vintage was also characterized by an unusually early harvest, making it our earliest on record. Fortunately, we suffered no significant heat spikes during the end of July or early August, so harvest was simply early and not negatively affected by adverse weather. Ultimately, 2015 will prove to be a superb year, there just won’t be much wine to go around.

Harvest for the 2015 Russian River Valley Zinfandel began on August 22 with the Limerick Lane Vineyard and finished on September 12 with the Jensen Lane Vineyard. Yields were down from 2014 but were still closer to normal than many other grape varieties. Despitethe early harvest, flavors developed in tandem with sugar accumulation, and without any major heat spikes, we were able to pick at will. Acids stayed fairly high, which meant that the need for winemaking was at a minimum. All in all, the grapes, and nature, made this wine for us. In blending, we discovered that the wine seemed more high toned and red-fruited than in the past, so we added just a dollop of Syrah to give the wine a few more bass notes. This Zinfandel shows a fantastic nose of boysenberries and bramble, with great richness on the palate. It comes across as a young wine, with fresh acidity and tannins, providing balance to the exuberant fruit. This wine is wonderful right off the bat but should improve until well into 2018.