Warning: include(): http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/wd0497/index.html on line 6

Warning: include(http://globalgourmet.com/includes/banner468.html): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/wd0497/index.html on line 6

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'http://globalgourmet.com/includes/banner468.html' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/wd0497/index.html on line 6

 


by Fred McMillin
for April 30, 1997

A Swell Zinfandel

Prologue: "The Rocky Top Vineyard Zinfandel vines were planted prior to Prohibition [1920]. They produce tiny crops having some of the most intense flavors we've ever harvested"...from proprietor Lee Sobon (rhymes with "bone")

The Rest of the Story: As a Senior Research Scientist for the Lockheed Space Lab, Lee Sobon was always tinkering and exploring...and he didn't stop when he started making Zinfandel in Amador County two decades ago. It soon became clear that the high-alcohol, blockbuster prevailing style had a VERY BIG appeal to a VERY SMALL number of devotees. However, a winery cannot live with a cult wine alone. So he conducted a number of experiments...harvesting earlier... fermenting at lower temperatures, etc. When the dust settled, he had a Zin with much broader appeal. Berry flavors now dominated; harshness disappeared as alcohol and tannin contents were lowered. If you want to taste what Lee has accomplished, try his rich 1993 Rocky Top. It's hard to find a more satisfying California red for $13.50.

1993 Zinfandel, Rocky Top Vineyard, Amador County
Sobon Estate Winery, Calif. Registered Landmark 762
Plymouth, Amador County, CA
Phone (209)245-6554
$13.50

Category: Highly recommended in its price range

Postscript: Why is the relatively new Sobon Estate Winery a state landmark? Well, a Swiss emigrant, Adam Uhlinger, put together the original buildings and planted vines in 1856. Thus, it is a landmark because it is the third oldest California winery. Shirley and Lee Sobon bought it in 1989 and have developed a museum to preserve the artifacts and other contributions from the prior owners, particularly the D'Agostini family that owned it most of this century.


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend


Current WineDay

January WineDays
February WineDays
March WineDays

04/29/97
Methoxypyrazines??

04/28/97
Catch a Cab from Chile

04/25/97
Winery of the Week
Cline Cellars

04/24/97
How to Have a Sparkling Passover

04/23/97
A Fine Wine for Passover

04/22/97
A Seven-Vineyard Chardonnay

04/21/97
Drink the Gold

04/18/97
Winery of the Week
Raymond Vineyard and Cellar

04/17/97
A Chardonnay That Came to Play

04/16/97
The Longest Name in the Valley

04/15/97
Raising Syrah to New Heights

04/14/97
Learn to say Vee-oh-nyay, For come what may It's here to stay

04/11/97
Winery of the Week
Mirassou Vineyards and Winery

04/10/97
When Cape Mentelle Rang the Bell

04/09/97
Where to Grow Merlot

04/08/97
What's Hot, What's Not

04/07/97
An All-Pro Pinot

04/04/97
Winery of the Week
How the Pope Coped

04/03/97
The Larsen Legend

04/02/97
The Blush Gold Rush

04/01/97
It's the Grapes, Stupid

Global Gourmet | FoodDay

Copyright © 1997—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.