Cline Live Oak Zinfandel
is a single vineyard zinfandel made by Cline Cellars. In 1982, on leaving university, Fred Cline returned to his hometown Oakley, Contra Costa County
(equidistant between Sacramento and San Francisco) to found the company that would become Cline Cellars. There he started producing wines and restoring ancient vines. Today, Zinfandel, Carignane and Mourvèdre produced from these vines are some of the most unique and historic wines made in California - the coming together of the climate, the soil and the landscape are the epitome of Oakley terroir. In 1991, the winery relocated from Oakley to the Carneros region of Sonoma County on a historic 350-acre estate with new vineyards and facilities. While much of the cool Carneros region is planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot, Fred Cline pioneered the planting of Rhône varietals
including Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. In 1997, Cline ventured further west into an even cooler growing area in eastern Petaluma and again planted more Rhône varietals. Live Oak Zinfandel is named for Live Oak Road in Oakley to which the vineyards run adjacent. Cline Cellars has chosen to dry-farm the ancient, head-pruned vines, a practice employed by the Italian and Portuguese immigrants that planted this vineyard well before the turn of the century. The Oakley terroir is characterized by the hot sun, sand soil, and a unique band of air that flows from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. Grapes were harvested at natural high sugar levels and treated gently in the cellar to emphasize the explosive fruit characteristic of the vineyard block. The fruit was almost entirely de-stemmed and lightly crushed, with a large proportion of whole berries remaining in the must. Fermentation occurred at moderate temperatures in stainless steel tanks, using a selection of cultured yeasts. After eight days of gentle “pump-overs” and near dryness, we drained and pressed the wine from its skins.
Cline Live Oak Zinfandel is known for its dimension of ripeness and individuality. It is a classic example of the big Zinfandels, for which Cline Cellars has become known. The 2010 Live Oak Zinfandel displays notes of sweet berries, spice, coffee and licorice. The wine has a firm, balanced structure of acid and fine-grained tannins. It would pair well with roasted or grilled meats, as well as, hearty pasta dishes.
Food & Wine match:
It would pair well with roasted or grilled meats, as well as, hearty pasta dishes.