Cline Cellars Live Oak Zinfandel
Cline Cellars Live Oak Zinfandel
A Journey Through the Heart of Oakley: Unveiling Cline Family Cellars Live Oak Zinfandel
Cline Family Cellars Live Oak Zinfandel is more than just a bottle of wine – it's a tapestry woven from sun-kissed California terroir, generations of tradition, and the passion of a family dedicated to crafting exceptional wines. This single-vineyard gem, named for the Live Oak Road that meanders alongside its ancient vines, embodies the quintessential "big Zinfandels" that have earned Cline Cellars its renowned reputation. But beneath its bold personality lies a symphony of nuanced flavours, intricate textures, and a story waiting to be discovered.
Embracing Ripeness and Individuality:
First, let's take a sip of the aroma. Deep ruby hues invite you in, hinting at the richness to come. A burst of vibrant berries greets your nose – think juicy raspberries, sun-warmed strawberries, and tangy cranberries – playfully intertwined with hints of coffee, adding a touch of earthy intrigue.
As the wine washes over your palate, the fruit unfolds further. Ripe raspberries and sweet mocha dance alongside lingering notes of strawberry and dried cranberry. A whisper of exotic spice, like cardamom or star anise, adds another layer of complexity, while the smooth, fine-grained tannins provide a touch of structure and grip. This is a wine that's both exuberant and balanced, alive with energy yet gracefully poised.
Rooted in History, Nourished by Nature:
The secret to Live Oak Zinfandel's exceptional character lies in its unique origins. The vines, gnarled and wise with the passage of time, trace their roots back to the early 20th century, planted by Italian and Portuguese immigrants who first brought their love for Zinfandel to California. These head-pruned, dry-farmed vines whisper stories of resilience and adaptation, drawing strength from the Oakley terroir's hot sun, sandy soil, and the cool embrace of the nearby Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.
The Cline family, stewards of this precious heritage, approaches winemaking with a gentle touch. Grapes are harvested at the peak of ripeness, preserving their natural sugar levels and explosive fruit character. Minimal intervention in the cellar allows the essence of the vineyard to shine through. Gentle destemming and light crushing, followed by fermentation in stainless steel tanks, ensure the delicate aromatics and vibrant flavours remain true to their origin.
A Labor of Love, Aged to Perfection:
The journey continues with ageing. For 12 months, the wine slumbers in 40% new, medium-toasted French oak barrels. This imparts subtle notes of toast and spice, adding depth and complexity without overwhelming the wine's inherent fruitiness.
Finally, the moment of truth arrives. The bottled wine, now fully matured and ready to share its secrets, holds within it the culmination of meticulous care, deep respect for tradition, and the Cline family's unwavering dedication to excellence.
Beyond the Bottle, a Story Untold:
Live Oak Zinfandel is more than just a delicious wine; it's a window into the Cline family's legacy. Fred Cline, a founding member of the Rhone Rangers, planted the seeds of the winery in 1982, driven by a passion for Rhône varietals and California Zinfandel. In 1989, the family moved to their 350-acre estate in Sonoma-Carneros, raising their seven children amidst the vines. They continued to expand, planting vineyards dedicated to classic varieties like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while remaining true to their Rhone roots.
As Nancy Cline, Fred's wife, poignantly states, "This is where we raised our seven children." Live Oak Zinfandel, then, is a testament to family, heritage, and a deep-rooted connection to the land. It's a sip of California sunshine, a whisper of history, and a promise of quality that lives on with every bottle opened.
So, uncork your bottle of Cline Family Cellars Live Oak Zinfandel and embark on a journey of discovery. Let the aromas transport you to the sun-drenched vineyards of Oakley, taste the passion of generations, and experience the joy of a family's dedication to crafting exceptional wines. This is more than just a glass of wine; it's a story waiting to be savoured.