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Amphora Bastoni Vineyard Sonoma County Zinfandel 2011

$36.00 $18.99
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This wine is sold by Jackson Wines & Spirits, a California licensed retailer
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The soul of artistry is present in each bottle of Amphora, both literally and figuratively. Its iconic label is a nod to owner/winemaker Rick Hutchinson’s immense skill as a crafter of beautiful clay pottery. The juice inside each bottle shows his ability to transform grapes into drinkable art; a skill that routinely commands 90+ scores and causes a feeding frenzy amongst oenophiles. This stupendous Sonoma Zin puts Rick’s gleaming viticultural talents on full display, as its pinpoint balance and complex depth paints a pristine landscape of what makes Sonoma terroir so distinctly dynamite. Lively aromatics of fresh plum and raspberry pair on the palate with deep blackberry notes and nuanced whispers of anise en route to a lengthy finish.

About the wine

Whether he’s crafting wines or sculpting another stunning work of pottery, Amphora owner/winemaker Rick Hutchinson relies heavily in letting things take shape through gentle guidance. On the viticultural side of things, it’s an approach that leads to high-scoring, limited-production wines that vanish almost as quickly as they materialize. It certainly provides the foundation for this magical expression of Sonoma terroir. Rick sources Zinfandel grapes from a vineyard that’s been growing Zin since before that one pesky Amendment and cajoles every drop of fruity essence from their being. His handiwork results in a bold Sonoma beauty brilliantly propelled by plunging depth and metronome-like balance. Bright aromas of raspberry and freshly-cut plums create a delightful presence on the nose. Their sweet essence is joined on the palate by cavernous notes of dusty blackberry and enticing nudges of pomegranate, black pepper, and anise. Supple tannins guide to a long, lingering finish. Less than 150 cases of this luscious label were created, making its acquisition feel like the procurement of a fine work of art.  

Winemaker: Rick Hutchinson
Appellation: Sonoma County (Fountaingrove AVA)
93 pts, Alex Casella, WSET Advanced
Grapes: Zinfandel
Vineyards: Bastoni Vineyard
Cooperage: 22 months in French and Hungarian Oak
ABV: 14.4%

About the winery & vineyards

Amphora practically found success before they found a shelf. Back in 1997, owner/winemaker Rick Hutchinson stowed a bunch of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah he’d made for his first vintage in the basement of an old wooden barn. Word of his wine got out, and the crush of demand from friends and colleagues nearly wiped out the wine before it could be bottled. This spectacular start served as a sign of things to come, as Amphora’s artistic, limited-production labels drive wine lovers into a tizzy and leave critics no choice but to grant 90+ point scores whenever they hit the scene. A big part of the winery’s winning formula stems from Rick’s unwavering desire to not just work with choice vineyards, but to build deep, trusted relationships with those behind the vines. His passion for this unique brand of viticultural connection leads him to Bastoni Vineyard in Sonoma’s new Fountaingrove District AVA to create this special selection. Spanning 30 acres, this humble family-owned vineyard has been growing Zinfandel grapes since 1906. They’ve perfected the art of Zin growing over the decades, as the vineyard’s sterling combination of gentle elevation, well-draining volcanic soil, and mountain gap-influenced maritime climate produce grapes whose complex fruitiness and firm tannins practically burst from the skins. Rick’s expert guidance adds flesh to these lovely bones, leading to a selection that would have barely escaped the barrel back in the day.

About the winemaker

It’s often said that winemakers are artists. Rick Hutchinson fits this description in more ways than one. The Sonoma native applied his first viticultural brushstrokes immediately after his teen years, where a bottling gig at Sebastiani Winery brought back childhood thoughts of canning fruit in his mom’s kitchen. This evocation spurred a deep passion for the winemaking process; a love affair that led him to hone his artistry under such luminaries as Nalle Winery’s Doug Nalle and John Kongsgaard from Kongsgaard Wine. While his rise to wine mastery kept him occupied, there was still enough time for him to develop his natural gift for crafting breathtaking pottery. As Amphora’s owner and winemaker, Rick fittingly celebrates both sides of his incredible artistic talent. While the winery’s name is a tip of the hat to his great pottery skills, the sumptuous limited production labels Rick produces every year puts forth brilliant, high-scoring expressions of terroir that practically turn oenophiles into art snobs sauntering through The Louvre. While his star has ascended, his winemaking philosophy remains simple: Source fruit from trusted vineyards and guide them to create the most artistic expression possible.

93 pts - Alex Casella, WSET Advanced

A ruby red color with old-school Sonoma Zinfandel nose that has some unique notes of rose petal, stewed cherries, pink peppercorns, wild strawberry, and fennel. The palate presents wild red berries, spicy notes, stewed plums, hint of mineral and tobacco leaf and refined fruit. A medium body packs a lot of punch with fantastic acidity and backbone to hold in the cellar for 3-5 more years if desired. Although delicious now, I would suggest not to wait much longer. Best food pairings are BBQ Pork Spare Ribs, BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, Red Sauce Pizza and Pasta."  

Other Details

Alcohol percentage:
Power Zinfandel for Amphora – Time to Fire up the BBQ
Single Vyd 93pt Zin under $20 fr Bastoni Vyd
Single Vyd 93pt Zin under $20 fr Bastoni Vyd
Rick Hutchinson’s limited production Zin is a bold beauty propelled by plunging depth and metronome-like balance.
Rick Hutchinson’s limited production Zin is a bold beauty propelled by plunging depth and metronome-like balance.
Only 124 Cases Produced
Rick Hutchinson Winemaker
2017-4-20 23:59:00 -08:00:00
#review=Alex Casella, WSET Advanced:
93 / 100
#review=Vivino Users, All Winery, 488 Reviews:
Free shipping on 6 or more bottles - mix & match all wines!
Last Day: Single Vyd 93pt Zin under $20 fr Bastoni Vyd

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