Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month – 2016 Bucklin Ancient Field Blend Old Hill Ranch

Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The October Zinfandel of the Month is the 2016 Bucklin Ancient Field Blend Old Hill Ranch.

I chose this bottle as my Zinfandel of the Month because the winery is currently offering their ’17 version to the mailing list.

Bucklin Winery was founded in 2000 by the four Bucklin siblings: Arden, Kate, Ted and Will.  Will Bucklin has been a vintner for over 25 years, working in France, Australia, Sonoma, Mendocino and Oregon. Bucklin produces several Zinfandels, a Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and a White Field Blend.

Old Hill Ranch is a historic jewel.  It was founded by William McPherson Hill in 1851. The vineyard came into the Bucklin family when it was purchased in 1981. Bucklin and Bedrock are the sole producers of wine from the vineyard.

The “Ancient Field Blend” is from a 12 acre block of vines that were planted in 1885. The vineyard is a mosaic of over two dozen grape varieties — primarily Zinfandel, but also Grenache, Alicante Bouchet, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Syrah, Carignane, and Tempranillo, to name a few. The grapes are co-fermented together. 12 Acres, 30 grape varieties, 1 wine.

Purple in color. 15.3% ABV. Brilliant nose of brambly red fruits, baking spices and pepper. Full bodied with mouth watering acidity. Silky, rich and plush. Extraordinarily well balanced. Black cherry, raspberry liqueur, cocoa and pepper on the palate. The finish on the wine is exceptionally long. Stunning Zinfandel from an iconic vineyard. This should age well. Best over the next 3-5 years.

My rating: 95 points.

Bucklin gets very little press but I would highly suggest visiting their website and ordering a few bottles. At $36 this wine is a bargain and will have a place in my cellar.

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