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The Neighborhood Cellar
The Neighborhood Cellar
The Neighborhood Cellar
The Neighborhood Cellar
The Neighborhood Cellar
1994 Zinfandel The Neighborhood Cellar 1994 Zinfandel:
Ruby Cabernet:
Alcohol by volume:
Cases produced:

Tasting Notes
This was an excellent vintage for California Zinfandel. The 1994 was an exceptional Zinfandel by any standard. It had tremendous fruit quality and excellent acidity. The alcohol was high (at 14%) but not overwhelming. This is all thanks to the grapes used. I believe that the white grape that we used in this production gave the wine the essential acid it needed.

This wine was intense but not too dense as can be the case with many Zinfandels – many of which border on – or are - desert wines. This wine could claim all of the usual Zinfandel adjectives like: fruity, spicy, etc. – but there was a unique balance to the wine that made it very enjoyable either by itself with some bread or cheese – or with a full meal. It was a very invigorating wine.

About the Year
Making the Zinfandel this year was, personally, tough. My notes were very sparse, mostly because I was hesitant about making wine at all, and second because I was making it alone. Maybe those two feelings were one in the same. My parents had gone away and no one else was around to help out. Grapes can’t wait for people when they are ready, and they were ready.

Zinfandel. The grapes were high in sugar, low in acid, and many grapes on the bunches, especially underneath the full grapes, were raisened. The full fruit were a very deep purple in color while the raisensed grapes were a light, pastel purple. Knowing something of the wines of Amarone I thought the raisened grapes provided an opportunity to produce excellent, rich flavors for our wine because of their concentrated sugar content as well as some unique tannins produced in the skins of raisened fruit. While we certainly did not want too much raisened fruit in the production – because that would yield something closer to a desert wine – I was quite enthusiastic at the proportion of raisened grapes to whole fruit. By my estimation approximately 8-10% of the grapes were raisened.

What started as a solitary effort, that almost did not happen, turned out to be one of our greatest productions as well as a personal learning experience. I was glad that I kept the faith on this and plowed forward to make this wine. One of the funniest moments, in more ways than one, was crushing the grapes with Saturday Night Live on in the background to keep me company. As with many things in life, it can be very difficult to see beyond what is right in front of you – especially when all seems a bit impossible. This proved to be a very enlightening and fruitful experience.

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The Neighborhood Cellar "...really good wines, are emerging from the most unexpected corners of North America, and now is a good time to start paying attention to them."
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Jan. 31, 2007

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