This Grandpere doesn’t have caramels in his cardigan, but he’s loaded with dark fruit aromas like mulberry, blueberry and black-skinned plum. Restricted yields create real, “NYT Sunday Crossword Puzzle” levels of concentration in the flavors, where rich blackberry pie and warm green earth build a weighty mouthfeel. A touch of Petite Sirah provides a little extra intensity, lift and length.
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Renwood was founded by Robert Smerling in 1993 in Plymouth, California's Gold Country. However, Renwood has become so closely associated with great old-vine Zinfandel that the winery seems much older. In 2011, the winery was purchased by a group of investors, principally Alejandro Pedro Bulgheroni and Argentinian wine veteran Carlos Pulenta.Today Renwood grows and sources grapes from over 400 rolling acres in Amador County. While Zinfandel is the specialty, Petite Sirah, Alicante, Mourvèdre, and Barbera are also produced. The winemaker here is Joe Shebl, who began his career at Renwood in 1999, later left to establish himself as a consultant, then returned in 2013. Old-vine Amador Zinfandel and Barbera are the showstoppers at this storied estate.
This classic-style Zin is complex, appetizing and well-balanced, from its sage, raspberry and baked earth aromas to lightly tangy but ripe plum, dried cherry and black-pepper flavors. Moderate tannins and good acidity give it great freshness, inviting more and more sips.