The 2019 Joel Gott California Zinfandel has aromas of brambleberries, red currants and plum with notes of maple sugar and vanilla. The wine opens with bright fruit flavors followed by soft, velvety tannins on the mid-palate, and a long finish with hints of spice.
Blend: 97% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah
Joel Gott, founder of Joel Gott Wines, is a fourth-generation California vintner, entrepreneur, lover of great food and an athlete. Born into a family of California vintners – his grandfather ran Inglenook Winery in the 60’s, and his father founded Montevina Winery in the 70’s – Joel grew up in the vineyards and learned to drive a tractor before he could legally drive a car.
Joel’s first venture in the wine business was the Palisades Market, a boutique grocery store and wine shop in Calistoga that he and his brother purchased in 1993. There, he learned the art of running a business, creating food and selling wine. In particular, he recognized a growing need for quality wines in the under $20 category.
Since Joel Gott Wines was established in 1996, they have selected the best fruit from growing regions in California, Oregon and Washington which they blend to create more balanced, clean, complex and elegant wines. They are geared towards continuing to give customers expressive and food-friendly wines at great prices.
California is a winemaking colossus; by itself it is the fourth largest producer in the world. Red wine accounts for 56% of the total by volume, and red grapes 63% of total acres planted. In addition, a number of California red wines are heralded as being among the most prestigious and sought-after wines in the world.
While the state’s incredibly diverse geography, soils and microclimates allow for a wide array of styles, the key factor unifying California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season. This leads to well-developed fruit marked both by impressive ripeness and balancing acidity.
The state’s most famous red wine region, of course, is Napa Valley, where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns as king. But California boasts a wealth of other impressive appellations. The much larger and climatically varied Sonoma County also produces world class California Cabernet, along with wonderful examples of California Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
Fine versions of Cabernet and Zinfandel hail from Paso Robles as well, which is also gaining fame with Rhone varietals like Syrah and Grenache. As for Pinot Noir, terrific examples can be found from AVA’s such as Anderson Valley, Carneros, Santa Lucia Highlands and Sta. Rita Hills. Wineries in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties are making wonderful Syrahs, and the Sierra Foothill appellations are proving to be an experimental hotbed, with Italian and Spanish varietals employed to great effect.
This of course is a mere sketch. The subject of California red wine is as deep and broad as an ocean, and absolutely a joy to explore!