Three Wine Company Live Oak Zinfandel 2014 | By Zin Master Matt Cline!
The Three Wine Company Live Oak Zinfandel 2014 is deep ruby to the rim. Lavish aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, dried thyme and dark chocolate. Powerful and concentrated, featuring a mix of dark berry and crushed-red-fruit preserves, cinnamon spice and whispers of licorice. Taste the wine over two or even three days and enjoy how it evolves. The fleshy tannin and sweet baking spice evolve to the more dusty tannic backbone and savory tobacco spice notes. Naturally electric acidity makes for a mouthwatering ancient-vine Zinfandel that won’t hit full stride until the mid-2020s and will continue to age gracefully until at least 2030.
Three Wine Company Live Oak Zinfandel is silken and lush, this over-delivers on its humble price tag by miles. Harvested late but not sweet, this decadently rich and fruity wine pairs well with cheese or an equally opulent dish such as Osso Bucco or red wine risotto. It has grapey, jammy aromas and late-picked flavors like fig, plum and black raisin that glide along the palate. The alcohol is high, tempered by a velvety texture and moderate tannins.
About Live Oak Vineyard
Planted in 1885 by Italian immigrants; Live Oak produces a mere 2.35 tons per acre in 2013. This vineyard is known for its massive concentration, silken texture and signature core of luscious boysenberry fruit. The Live Oak vineyard is made up of predominately Zinfandel vines but is a field blend with Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, Carignane, Mataro, and Black Malvoisie. The wine is dark black and blue color to the edge, with boysenberry, violets, supple tannins and perfect acidity. The wine shows staggering ancient vine concentration with a briary density and silken chewiness with a velour-like texture which is classic Live Oak.
I won’t soon forget the afternoon I spent with Zin master Matt Cline, whose penchant for preserving the oldest, most significant Zinfandel vineyards in America is why we are able to offer his opulent Zins today. When translated to bottle, Cline’s historic sites yield dramatic offerings, loaded with class and lush, dark-berry fruit. The 92-point “Mazzoni” Live Oak Zinfandel is case in point. Take in the New Delhi sands with the 120-year-old vines in Contra Costa County that produced the 2014 “Mazzoni. It’s clear why Live Oak vineyard produces the most spectacularly concentrated, ethereally complex Zins in California.
The vines produce miniscule berries with the kind of complexity that can only come from vines this old. There’s just nothing else like it out there. Don’t just take it from me — Wine Enthusiast found the 2014 Mazzoni “decadently rich,” with a “velvety texture.” I call it the most delicious version of American history you can bottle. Just $21 per bottle — 40% off — while a mere 200 bottles last.
About the winemaker – Matt Cline
Matt’s extravagant black-fruit reds are America’s best answer to the bargains of the southern Rhône. But even if you made the trip down to Oakley just to see these improbable ancient-vine plantings, you could fail to understand the history behind them — and the significance of what is in the glass. There are no signs or plaques to commemorate the hard work of the Portuguese and Italian immigrants who carved 6-inch budwood into Delhi sand on cold winter mornings in the late 19th century.
Matt Cline called Live Oak Vineyard the crowning achievement of ancient-vine Zinfandel in America. The veteran vines never eke out more than a few tiny-berry clusters per shoot. In 2014, the fourth consecutive drought year in California, Live Oak shined like the bright California sun. The resulting wine is named for the Mazzoni family that planted the vineyard in 1885. The Live Oak Zinfandel struts the kind of deep-rooted concentration and complexity that only ancient vines can produce.