2011 brought a similar growing season to 2010. A cool spring followed by below average summer temperatures. Having learned from the challenge of 2010 we groomed the vineyard to allow more light and air to move through the canopy throughout the summer. The cool weather gave way to early rains - we couldn’t take the chance to let the zinfandel hang through the rain so we picked before the clouds gave way. The wine was aged in American oak barrels for 19 months. First aromas of this wine bring to mind spicy clove. This wine is dense and highly fruity – tannins are well integrated and add a long finish. Enjoy by 2019.
Varietal Composition: 100% Zinfandel
Appellation: Dry Creek, Sonoma
Harvest Date: 10/1/2011
Barrel Aging: 18 months 30% New American, 18 months 70% Neutral American
TA 5.4, pH 3.70, alc 15.0%
2012 Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel
Our fifth release of Old Vines Dry Creek Zinfandel has flavors of juicy cherry and plum accented by a bouquet of cinnamon candy and pipe tobacco. Grown in a vineyard planted in 1947, the plants continue to produce fantastic fruit and supply us with the classic Dry Creek characteristics of spice, depth and delicious flavor. Pair with your favorite grilled fare, drink by 2020.
Varietal Composition: 100% Zinfandel
Appellation: Dry Creek, Sonoma
Harvest Date: 9/22/2012
Barrel Aging: 18 months New American, 18 months 67% Neutral American
TA 5.3, pH 3.65, alc 14.8%
2013 Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel
2013 marks the 14th year of our harvests in Sonoma County, with most of the purchased fruit coming from Dry Creek and the Healdsburg area. The bouquet of this wine has spicy notes with hints of brown sugar. The palate has a wonderful zest with soft tannins. Share with friends as you break out the grill, and drink by 2022.
Varietal Composition: 100% Zinfandel
Appellation: Dry Creek, Sonoma
Barrel Aging: 18 months 33% New American, 18 months 67% Neutral American
Laura and Michael Swanton know the many challenges of establishing a boutique winery dedicated to crafting small quantities of fine wine in the Napa Valley. They have experienced them all in their demanding, yet delicious, journey from fledging winery to award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel producers.
A long-time wine enthusiast, Owner and Proprietor Laura Swanton purchased the Calistoga winery estate that would become Laura Michael Wines from the Traulsen family in 1999. At the time, Laura was a sales specialist with Cisco Systems in San Jose. It was a career that required intimate knowledge of high-tech product application. Knowing how the technology worked was critical to her success in selling the product.
At the time Laura purchased the winery, Michael had embarked on an independent career in power generation and services, a career that spanned nearly two decades. When they came together in 2006, their current journey started and continues to this day.
Today, their tenacity for learning systems and science is directed at running their small winery and vineyard estate dedicated to limited-production, premium red wines. Since 1999, Laura has managed all winemaking processes from grape sourcing to the logistics of launching and operating a winery. Her zeal to understand winegrowing at its root has her pruning, picking, irrigating and collecting samples in the vineyard. A thirst for winemaking knowledge encourages her participation in crush, pump-overs, racking and bottling.
“We do it all,” says Laura. “It’s so important that we work alongside every member of our team from the temporary harvest help to our consulting winemaker. We are not ones to stand on the sidelines, and fortunately because we are as small as we are, we can be actively involved in every aspect of this business.”
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
FedEx Ground: Monday, August 27th - Wednesday, August 29th
@rjquillin not on the website…we visited on one of the Tours… IIRC, her alcohols typically run in the 14.5 -15% range, with pH tending north of 3.5, but that’s off the top of my head. Better information would be welcomed.
Pretty darn good bottle of Zin, Laura Michael Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2011.
We opened the bottle and paired it with a large spread of meats, cheeses, and crackers including dry Montery Jack, Jarlsberg, goat cheese, Hungarian salami, sopressata, and brown sugar cured ham slices, olives, pickled mushrooms, pickled beets, cherry tomatoes, French bread and artisan wheat crackers. Terrific bottle of wine! All told I gathered comments from five people including myself, who participated in the tasting. Here is a summary of the comments including my own.
When opened it was redolent of cherries, pomegranate, and a hint of port aromas and tastes. After about an hour, the wine still had a good sense of cherry with more oakiness owing to the tannin content, no doubt. The wine is deep ruby in color and has a medium finish.
There was a wee bit left, which I deliberately saved overnight, for a taste test the next day. It had not changed much from the night before and was eminently drinkable. I intend to buy a case of this as it is one of the best zinfandels, which I have had in quite sometime.
@noodles I have a bottle or two of each of these in stock, I always buy Laura Michael Zin when it’s offered. I was thinking of buying a case too, trying to justify it with all the wine I’ve bought lately. Good stuff!
@catcoland@noodles Same here. The rpm tour generated about 5 cases of wine, which still hasn’t arrived here, as well as about a case and a half we brought home with us from places we visited before and after the tour. However, the Laura Michael Zin is the next thing to an autobuy. I’d split a case 50-50 with either of you, or I could take 3 from each of your cases, leaving you with 9 each, if that would be better for you. Let’s see if @lamplighter chimes in.
Yeaaahhhhhh was weak. Ordered a case with the ice, will have it held at the FedEx location by the airport. Willing to part with 3 or 6 so let me know who wants what.
I ordered a case, fouled-tiny-tungsten @ddeuddeg I can have it diverted to WS and split it with you if @noodles wants to split with @lamplighter? I also have 2 bottles of The Spaniard for you @lamplighter if you want to meet at a FedEx and split this Zin with me? Whatever works for you all.
@catcoland@lamplighter@noodles Sounds OK to me, but if you’ve got it going to Blasdell, no need to change, I could just as easily meet you there. And I can get wine to @lamplighter easily any time, so I could pick those up for her.
Hmmm @catcoland, if you have the Spaniard for @lamplighter, does it make more sense to meet up with him/her to do both that and the Laura michaels at once, and I’ll meet up with @ddeuddeg for a split? Otherwise ddeuddeg is meeting up with you for the Laura michaels and lamplighter’s Spaniard, which he then has to meet up with lamplighters to deliver. And then I will also meet up with lamplighter to split the Laura Michaels with.
I guess it depends on how many bottles ddeuddeg and lamplighter each want. I’m happy with any arrangement. Just let me know!
@catcoland@lamplighter@noodles I’ve just been reminded that we have some Riesling from Canada for @catcoland, which I can deliver to him (if he still wants it) whenever and wherever we meet up. And @lamplighter’s husband can pick up her wine from me any afternoon on his way to pick her up from work a block from my house. I’ll be happy to take 3 or 6 bottles from whoever is willing to part with it.
@ddeuddeg I’d be happy to pick up the Riesling you’re holding and drop off the 2 TO bottles so it would seem to make sense for me to split the Zin with you when it comes in, otoh if it’s easier for @noodles to connect with you to split her case of Zin I can split with @lamplighter or leave hers with you.
@catcoland@lamplighter@noodles You could get the Riesling any time, rather than waiting until the Zin comes in, or we could wait, so you don’t have to make a separate trip. We can let @noodles and @lamplighter to settle things between the two of them.
@catcoland@ddeuddeg@lamplighter thanks guys! @lamplighter as soon as I get shipping confirmation (probably next week or so), I’ll have it diverted to the FedEx by the airport and we can either meet there or I can pick it up and we can choose a time to meet. How many bottles are you thinking? These just sound so good
Thesis: this wine is AWESOME. Buying a case. Caveat that I am a ‘zin lover’ but that also means I know the flavor, versus being sent a random white wine or something I don’t like. I liken this to a prime bottle of top end Justin (Zin or the original Orin Swift Prisoner, one of my all-time favorite go-to’s, or Saldo) but silkier and smokier.
Why: Smooth… smooth … smooth…rich flavors… we tasted it right after popping, but let it sit for an hour or so while making dinner to let it open up and smooth out (especially when opening a just-shipped bottle in Socal heat wave - I did stick it in my wine fridge for half the day after getting the FedEx). Dinner was our “costco special” combo of their in-house tri-tip baked (yup baked…) to perfection and laid over a delicious bag of salad mix (hey trying to be healthy here). Could not have picked a better day to get this wine then to pair with a bad ass costco steak.
You can taste the dry creek zin flavors here. Smokey, rich, definite fruit of plums and raisins and grapey-ness you expect from a mature red zin. More spice like a Prisoner / Troublemaker zin than fruity / jammy like an Inzinerator (love those too Harvey). Really mature strong rich flavors. My wife, bless her heart, is more of a “I love anything red” simpleton and she LOVED this wine. She was hopping all night high on this zin flavor, was kind of cute. Insert all the jokes about flavors of cedar chest and leather boot and tasting the exact dirt chunk from a Healdsburg hillside… this wine has tons of flavor and a soft taste and finish.
Hi Everyone! Laura here! I got word that some additional tech stuff was wanted on my wines. 2011, although a cold year with early rain, didn’t dampen our quality. A bit more tannin in the wine is showing up as sediment, but it’s delicious and true to the grape. All three vintages sourced from the same location and only that location in the bottle. 100% zin!
2011 - TA - 5.4, pH - 3.70, alc 15.0%
2012 - TA - 5.3, pH - 3.65 - alc 14.8%
2013 - TA - 5.7, pH - 3.89 alc 15.4%
All three are drinking really nicely. Lots of spice and Dry Creek character!
@PatrickKarcher I usually recommend that these wines be drunk before 9 years from vintage date. 2011 is ready to go. 2012 is also drinking very well, could wait another couple of years, but really not necessary. 2013 is a very big wine. Can lay down for another few years, decant now or hold. Drink by 2022.
Damnit Laura why’d you have to show up here? Now I’m in for my 3rd case from here since in like 3 weeks. Also…Winedavid49, don’t think I paid as much for the ICE + FAST DELIVERY on the Pedroncelli or the Nocetto? Just curious, still willing to pay. Damnit )
As someone who’s been almost totally absent since the launch (oops, sorry, busy year, etc.) this one really grabbed my attention. I love me some old vine zin. The near-universal praise and 90+ on CT sealed the deal. In for a case!
And if you’re nearby (SW OH) and want a bottle or two, shoot me a message - we can probably work that out.
This was our first Lab Rat bottle. My wife, the wine drinker of the house, usually likes a malbec, shiraz, merlot or a red blend. She tried this zinfandel and was not converted. That’s not the wine’s fault. It’s just not her thing.
She did spend a considerable amount of time looking down at the cup smacking her lips and came up with the following description. I’ve never heard her speak like this before, so take it with a grain of salt: “Smooth, velvety. Hint of sweetness. Dark cherry and oak notes.”
I’m a weak man, I admit it…I’ve been out of storage space, even with the recent addition of another Vinoteque unit… yet the reviews have added yet another case to my Casemates total…8 so far. Love me some good old vines Zin. /countless-fearing-sushi
Dry Creek is the most Bordelais, the best structured, the most Eurocentric, the best aging, however you want to put it, the best Zinfandel in California. I’m in for a three pack and can be the consolidator in Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, so who’s in for splitting a case in the North Bay Area?
I’d love to buy a case, but will be out of town in a couple of weeks. Live in FL, so consider it wise to pay for cold, fast shipping. Can’t find any info on expected delivery times…is “fast” a day, a week, a month? Don’t want it sitting on the front porch in a box of hot water. Anybody have experience here?
@bobhaislip The government controls lots of what is said on a wine label. The words “Old Vine”, however, are not controlled. For my wine, we only use an Old Vine designation on a wine made from a vineyard older than 50 years. This Dry Creek location was planted in 1947. It’s a beautiful location!
So Murphy’s law kicks in. I get the privilege of being a lab rat for the 2013 when I have a bad sinus infection. Even better, my wine buddy is in California on a winery tour. Enlisted my neighbor to try a review for us since I can’t taste or smell anything. His comments were dark cherry with plum flavors and a little spice. He said he really enjoyed it. Wine had a nice ruby color. Based on his comments and other reviews I picked up a case. Sorry for being so late.