The Terra d’Oro 2016 Deaver Zinfandel showcases warm, inviting earthy notes of oregano, white pepper, clove, vanilla, black cherry, dark cocoa and smoke on the nose. The palate is invigorated with velvety tannins leading into a balanced midpalate and spicy finish. A lavish mouthfeel with a long, focused finish completes this wine—another remarkable vintage from this legendary vineyard in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
During the California Gold Rush in the 1800’s, Italian immigrants brought Zinfandel cuttings from the East Coast to California and planted vineyards in the Sierra Foothills. The Deaver Vineyard is one of the original Zinfandel plantings in Amador County and the vines have served as parent cuttings for many vineyards in the region. The Terra d’Oro 2016 Deaver Zinfandel grapes come from a 20 acre shallow and rocky lot consisting of 131 Year Old Vine Zinfandel. The vines continue to grow deeper into the soil as years pass and vigorously pull nutrients from multiple soil layers, producing smaller quantities of highly concentrated and complex fruit.
After gentle pressing, the wine is aged 12 months in premium French and American Oak – 30% of which is new – which gives the wine its sweet caramel, butterscotch and toasty characteristics.
With age comes grace and over time, the vines have self-regulated and do not grow as wildly as New Vine Zinfandel. Winemakers with Old Vine Zinfandel experience take pride in the careful selection of yeast strains and pumpover techniques designed to extract the flavor and character of the grapes unique to this vineyard. The limited amount of fruit is hand-picked in small bins and crushed at the nearby winery.
Food Pairing Notes
For a divine pairing, serve the Terra d’Oro 2016 Deaver Zinfandel with a dry-aged rib eye, topped with a horseradish gremolata made of minced parsley, lemon peel and garlic.