2017 Hooker Creek Zinfandel

2017 Hooker Creek Zinfandel

Wine Information

94% Zinfandel, 4% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet

94 Points – Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate
93 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
91 PointsWine Enthusiast
91 PointsZinfandel Chronicles

Vintage

2017

Vineyard

Hooker Creek

Appellation

Sonoma Valley

Alcohol By Volume

14.9%

Winemaker Tasting Notes

Aromas of raspberry, licorice, leather and toasty oak. Ripe fig flavor with lively acid, fine tannins and a note of black olive on the lingering finish. JO (7/20)

Vintage Notes

Despite favorable spring weather, these eighty-year-old vines set a small crop. An unusually warm summer hastened ripening. By late August the vineyard was ready and was the first of the season to be picked. Co-fermentation with petite sirah and alicante adds structure and color. This rich, bold zinfandel will be enjoyable over the next six to seven years.

History

This wine comes from old zinfandel vines planted along Hooker Creek north of the town of Glen Ellen in Sonoma Valley. These old vines were planted 127 years ago on a part of the Agua Caliente Spanish Land grant purchased from General Vallejo by Joseph Hooker and William Sherman in 1854. Despite an ethically questionable lifestyle, “Fighting Joe” Hooker went on to command the Army of the Potomac in 1863 as a major general. After losing the battle of Chancellorsville to a significantly smaller Confederate force under Robert E. Lee, he was relieved of command. This is our fifth harvest from this vineyard.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 38 inches (slightly above normal)
Bloom: Mid-May
Weather: A wet winter gave us much needed rain. Cool weather in the spring affected set across all varieties. Several heat spikes in late June, July and August saw temperatures over 105 degrees. Harvest started before the Labor Day heat wave hit; we quickly finished harvesting by late August.

Winemaking

Harvest Dates: 28 August
Grapes: Average Brix 26.3˚
TA: 6.30 g/L
pH: 3.75
Fermentation: Grapes de-stemmed and crushed, pumped over a floating cap twice daily. Pressed at six days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (10% new and 90% four years-old).
Aging: Ten months in barrel

Hand-harvested grapes fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring malolactic bacteria; 2.4% water addition; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 62 ppm over the course of aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

Press

The Wine Advocate: 94 Points “The 2017 Zinfandel Hooker Creek from Sonoma Valley is blended with 4% Petite Sirah and 2% Alicante Bouschet. Its aromas are deep and inviting, tar and earth mingling with dark berry fruit and blood orange. The medium-bodied palate offers intense, earth-laced flavors with a silty grain and integrated freshness that lifts the long finish.” -Erin Brooks (February 2021)

Vinous Media: 93 Points “The 2017 Zinfandel Hooker Creek (also known as Bedrock) is bold, luscious and super-expressive. There is plenty of depth and yet the 2017 retains terrific energy in keeping the ripeness of the year in check. Dark cherry, spice, leather, menthol and dried herbs infuse the 2017 with layers of dimension.” -Antonio Galloni (September 2020)

Wine Enthusiast: 91 Points “Hints of herbs, wood smoke and sour cherries give this full-bodied and well-balanced wine an attractive complexity from the first sniff through the lingering finish. It details singed rosemary, charcoal, blackberry and cacao.” -Jim Gordon (January 2021)

Zinfandel Chronicles: 91 Points “Purple in color. From 127 year old vines planted near Hooker Creek north of Glen Ellen. Savory nose of black fruits, plums, earth and pepper. Medium body with ample acidity. Rustic, Claret style Zinfandel. Blackberry, black cherry, bittersweet chocolate and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish with gritty tannins. Unique Zinfandel that will age well. Best over the next 4-7 years.” -Tom Lee (September 2020)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 90.7

No. of Tasting Notes: 8

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Food Pairings

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