Klinker Brick Winery Zinfandel Old Ghost made from 100 percent Zinfandel.
The Old Ghost represents the best Zinfandel that Klinker Brick produces each year. Brambleberry fruit aromas intermingled with anise, clove and exotic spice, echo previous vintages. Smaller berries harvested from this vineyard block tend to offer more “skin to flesh,” providing a greater level of smooth yet firm tannin and structure to this wine. Pair with your prime porterhouse or grilled lamb.
Appellation: Lodi (Mokelumne River)
Varietal: Old Vine Zinfandel
Residual Sugar: .33
Ripe fruit flavors, a firm texture and generous spicy oak make this full-bodied wine a winner. The color is deep and dark, while the bouquet emphasizes blackberry and blueberry aromas that segue to a palate of baking spices and concentrated berries. -Wine Enthusiast 91 Points
Ripe and broad-shouldered, with perky baked cherry, smoked licorice and spice flavors. Drink now through 2022. 5,000 cases made. - Wine Spectator 90 Points
Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.
The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.
(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.
From the hot, windswept slopes of Red Mountain, the 2014 Syrah la Cote Rousse is a serious, tight, backwards effort that won’t be for those looking for instant gratification. Possessing classic Red Mountain red and black fruits, dried earth, pepper, dried spice and black olive characteristics, it’s full-bodied, beautifully textured, has flat out awesome purity and impeccable balance. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following decade or so.
While there's a long history of terrific wines from this estate, I think they've hit another level in the past few vintages, and these latest releases show a purity, elegance and textural quality not found in early bottlings. I'm sure this is in part due to the creation of a second wine, and even a stricter selection for all of the top cuvees. In short, don't miss a chance to try these wines. 96 Points Wine Advocate
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
This is an intense wine with a bright scarlet colour. Pure grapey aromas are complimented by red spices with some herbal and lavender notes. The palate is full and juicy, packed with ripe fruit and spice. The tight structure gives the wine a succulent finish with lingering flavours of anise, liquorice and a mineral saltiness. Drink 2013-2023.
"Three different sites on the Keermont farm - Steepside, Topside and Sweetwater - supply grapes for this intense, yet subtly oaked Syrah. Scented, spicy and refined, it has classic pepper grinder notes, sweet red fruit and a hint of black olive. 2018-24"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2017 Special Report), 94 pts
The epitome of cool climate Syrah. Intense and inviting, earthy, peaty but with concentrated fruit flavors of plums, blackberries, blueberries and black cherry all mixed together. Savory yet sweet, this wine just lingers on the palate. Paired with a rich lamb stew, smoked meats or your favorite Fall holiday meal, this wine will shine and develop beautifully for the next 5-7 years.
With our long history of making single site syrah's in Washington, it made sense for us to venture into the Rocks District of Milton Freewater in the Walla Walla Valley to bring you our newest syrah, "Domaine de Pierres."
The Rocks AVA produces syrah that shows a distinct character, separating it from any other site in Washington State. One thing in particular that has drawn people here is the gallet stones present throughout the valley. They are very similar to the pudding stones that are found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and can be anywhere from golf ball size, to softball size or larger. Since we purchased the vineyard in 2014 we have been tilling the earth multiple times every season to expose these rocks. The gallet stones act like a heat sink, giving a little extra push to help ripen syrah in an area with marginal heat accumulation.
In the glass, Domaine de Pierres stands out from our other syrah's because of its incredibly savory profile. Notes of roasted meat, fresh herbs, olive tapenade, tobacco and graphite are supported by dark fruit, espresso, and lavendar. The wine has a lower acidity and higher PH than our other wines, which contributes to a velvety, full bodied mouthfeel. Even in the cellar, we immediately noticed a difference in the color, aromatics and flavor that these syrah grapes were able to express.
The other big reason that we are so excited about the wine from this particular AVA, is that the history of the Rocks is happening right now! Our vineyard, “Ancient Stones,” has only been planted there since 2007, and the beginning of the Rocks as a wine growing region only really started in the 1990's. There is a lot of energy and exploration going on, and it has been a fun experience for our team to be a part of it. We still have so much to learn about this region and it is very exciting to feel like we are on the upward swing!
"This has strident peppery notes with a layer of sappy whole-cluster fragrances and complexity as well as fresh charcuterie meats, smoky notes and graphite. Red plums and blackberries lurk beneath. The palate has deep chocolate and cherry fruits. Very suave, supple tannins carry dark plums, dark chocolate and energetic freshness to the finish. Give this 2-3 years to integrate."
- James Suckling (2018), 95 pts
Klinker Brick Syrah Farrah is made from 100% Syrah, aged in new French oak. The wine is named after Steve and Lori Felten's daughter, Farrah. A single vineyard wine with a deep, rich garnet color. It shows tobacco, mint and cherries on the nose. With dense silky layers of raspberry and chocolate, this full-bodied wine finishes with hints of earth and spice with a long, smooth finish.
The Klinker Brick Winery Estate
Steve and Lori Felten, fifth generation grape growers in the Lodi region, continue the tradition of cultivating “Old Vine” Zinfandel vineyards that their ancestors planted in the early 1900’s.
With roots in Germany, Russia and later the Dakotas, the family settled in Lodi, first producing watermelons. Recognizing that the soil and climate were ideal for growing grapes, they began to plant varieties that included Zinfandel, Tokay, Carignane, and Alicante. For over one hundred years, the family has cultivated the land with the aim of producing top quality fruit. Zinfandel was one of the first grape varieties to be planted in the Lodi appellation, although it had also been established in other parts of the California.
In 1996, the family began to produce Zinfandel for the bulk wine market, selling wine to a number of prestigious, benchmark producers of Zinfandel in Napa and Sonoma Counties.
In 2000, Steve and Lori made the decision to start their own winery with the mission to produce exceptional Zinfandel. They continue to make wine from all of the vineyard blocks, culling only the very best lots for bottling Klinker Brick and designated vineyard wines. They produced their first Syrah in 2001. They have one goal…to produce world-class wine.
Klinker Bricks are highly prized bricks that grace many of the historical buildings in Lodi, including the owner's home. Chosen by Craftsmen architects in the 1920’s for their distinctive qualities, including unique shapes and dark, rich color, these bricks are “heavier” than regular bricks
“Klinker” refers to the sound that they would make when banged together, because of their increased weight. Rich, deep color, enormous density, unique and distinctive are the same qualities found in their old vine Zinfandel.
The Klinker Brick Winery Vineyard
The Felten Family own and manage fifteen individual vineyard blocks of “Old Vine” Zinfandel that range in age from 35 to 110 years old. Each vineyard is planted in sandy loam soils along the Lodi Mokelumne River Region and up into the Clements Foothills.
These vineyards are generally head-trained and dry farmed, yielding an average of 2.0 to 3.5 ton per acre. Some of the oldest vineyards have yields as small as .25 ton per acre. While there are significant limitations in the quantity of grapes produced, the quality of fruit is exceptional.
The grapes come from several different vineyards within the Lodi Appellation, depending upon the highest quality of fruit produced each year, and has included several vineyards in the Mokelumne and in the Clements Hills region.
From time to time, they produce single vineyard designated wines that express unique character, in addition to exceptional quality. These wines are produced in very small quantities and are extremely limited.
Our Côtes du Rhône Villages is elaborated on the superb Terroir.
The average age of the vines is 34 years; The assembly favors
Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. This complex wine can be kept 8 to 10 years and we
Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley is made from 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot.
Aged for 20 months in 100% French, medium toast; 60% new, 40% one & two year old
The nose leads off with plum, bright blackberry, and dark bing cherries. A touch of dried blueberry rounds out the fruit proï¬le. Floral notes and cocoa, with nuances of cedar and spice, are sprinkled throughout. All of these characters follow through on the palate and, with a pleasant minerality and continuity, weave a tapestry of complexity and youthful exuberance.
"Offers finesse and structure with elegantly expressive blackberry, basil and black olive flavors that build richness towards polished tannins. Drink now through 2028. - TF"
- Wine Spectator (October 2019), 94 pts