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Heritage Vineyards Zinfandel- a starring role at ZAP

ZAP- at the Presidio, San Fransisco
ZAP- at the Presidio, San Fransisco

If you've never heard of ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers), let's change that right now. This is the wine tasting not to be missed. Held yearly in San Francisco, this year's event just passed, and from the word on the street, was not just a success, but outstanding, in all aspects.

Each year the ZAP folks choose a distinguished winery member to craft a unique Zinfandel from the Heritage Vineyard. This year, honours went to Scott Harvey Wines, for the 2011 Heritage Vineyards. Production of this wine is extremely limited- just 120 cases were produced.

The Heritage Vineyard is an unparalleled collection of rare Zinfandel cuttings grown throughout the state of California. ZAP began producing wines from the historical vineyard in 1997. Among notable others, winemakers like Kent Rosenblum, Scott Harvey, Ted Seghesio, and Chris Leamy have each had a hand in creating Heritage Vineyard wines. The beauty in this, is that each vintage is carefully crafted with grapes from a truly remarkable vineyard.

The Heritage Vineyard stretches over one acre within the UC Davis Oakville Research Station in Napa Valley. During the project's first phase in 1995, sixty three selections were planted; during the second phase in 1999, an additional twenty seven plantings brought the total number of plantings to ninety. Each vine is head-trained and spur-pruned in the 'goblet' shape as they would have been in the nineteenth century. These practices are not typical today, as the insure a low--yet high quality--yield.

Expect clean fruit and full, rich berry flavours. Balanced, old world-style, the 2011 Heritage Vineyard Zinfandel (Scott Harvey wines) was aged in two year old French oak for eighteen months and did not go through malolactic.