Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Ottimino, a smash hit with our Zinfandel-loving Operatives. This time around, secure a stash of their 2007 Estate Zinfandel, a stunning wine from the best vintage on record in 10 years (96-Points, Robert Parker, Jr.).
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Ottimino
Wine Subject: 2007 Zinfandel Ottimino Vineyard – Russian River Valley
Winemaker: William Knuttel
Backgrounder: Zinfandel is often aptly namedCalifornia’s grape. Its history and lore and the wines that result are often the makings of legend. In this case, Starry Night’s winemaker selected the best old-vine grapes from a number of the Russian River’s best vineyards, many of which have been planted for nearly 100 years. The Russian River Valley is ideally suited for red grape varietals. Its early morning fog and coastal breezes result in a cooler climate than the neighboring wine growing regions. For today’s wine, Agent Red returns to Ottimino, to bring you their delicious, single vineyard Russian River Zinfandel, a wine that is bursting with flavor.
Zinfandel is related to the Italian Primitivo grape, tracing its origin to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski. Zinfandel is one of the most versatile varietals with the ability to make wines, both rich to fruity, dark to light, and dry to sweet. Russian River Valley Zins, which are characterized by their bold flavors, are among the most popular wines with our Operatives.
Look – Dark ruby hues, throughout, with a clear and slightly darker core. After spinning the wine, tall, thin, wine-colored legs move slowly down the glass.
Smell – Full and bursting with dark fruit, this wine presents lush blackberry, black cherry and brambly raspberry out in front. As thee wine opens up, it also reveals cocoa, leather, Bing cherry, black plum and softly toasted oak.
Feel – Velvet-smooth on entry and then grippy and plush with a light crushed velvet feel that leads to a soft spreading dryness that begins at the edges of the palate, and then spreads inward.
Taste – Black cherry, blackberry, smoky plum, bramble, braised mission fig and forest jam take center stage, presenting as sweet at the front of the palate and then deliciously, mouthwateringly tart at the mid-palate. After spinning the wine for a spell, it opens up, revealing softly toasted oak, dark strawberry, black pepper and hints of fresh herbs, dark leather and forest jam.
Finish – Medium-long with dark fruit gradually yielding to earthen flavors of dried leaves, minerals and black pepper.
Conclusion – Welcome back, Ottimino! We always love Ottimino’s Zin’s. So, too, do our Operatives, who snap them up in record numbers. Ottimino Zinfandels are among our most popular and today’s wine reminds us why; Ottimino lives Zinfandel, making it their focus – and their passion. Today’s 2007 Ottimino Zinfandelcomes from the winery’s own Ottimino Vineyard, in the Russian River Valley. This wine is smooth, delicious and abundant. Somewhat austere at first, this wine comes to life as you swirl and swirl in the glass. We prefer this approach to decanting, as you get to experience the transformation that the wine undergoes. Shy and a little reserved, in the beginning, flavors and aromas are enhanced with every spin. Delicious all on its own, we paired ours with a warm spinach salad with truffle oil, goat cheese – and a fried egg on top!