2019 Bucklin Bambino Zinfandel Field Blend Old Hill Ranch, Sonoma Valley – WS 93

2019 Bucklin Bambino Zinfandel Field Blend Old Hill Ranch, Sonoma Valley – WS 93



Sampled last night and arriving tomorrow!  The 2019 Bucklin field blend Zins from Sonoma are again par excellent!  You will recall the 2018s were rated by Wine Spectator at 91 points for the Bambino (see below) and 95 points for the Ancient!  My guess is the 19 Bambino hits 92-93 points, while the Ancient is again 94-96 points.  You be the judge and make your assessments. – December 16th. 2021

Comparing each wine’s structure……the younger vine field blend Bambino reminds me of a lanky, but muscular and speedy NFL wide receiver with great range and leaping ability, while the old vine blend Ancient is a powerfully built middle linebacker who loves “mix it up”.  Both display a beautiful depth of wild briar patch fruit.  The extra dose of exotic aroma and lavish fruit are complementary with the Ancient’s more assertive style.  These two Zins are classic, old school, dry farmed California Zinfandel.  They are not over ripe, jammy or late harvest in style.

When Italians and other European farmers immigrated to northern California in the mid to late 1800s, vineyard sites were not selected or planted to express a sense of place.  Rather varietal selections, regardless of suitability were co-mingled in the vineyard like a selection of ingredients, or a spice cabinet.  A certain percentage of “this”, and different percentages of “that” were all harvested at the same time regardless of ripeness, then co-fermented to produce each family’s unique “house” red.

One of Sonoma’s oldest and most historic vineyards, Old Hill Ranch was founded in 1851 by pioneer William McPherson Hill. The vineyard was purchased by Otto and Anne Teller in 1981 and today, Anne’s children, the four Bucklin siblings, produce field-blended wines from the bush vines on the family ranch.

The teenage “Bambino” vines were planted in 2000 and represent Bucklin’s “young vine” Zinfandel.  The 2018 blend is at least 75% Zinfandel that is co-fermented with Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouchet. Fermented with indigenous yeast without any nutrient additions. Aged in neutral French oak for approximately 10 months. 14.2% Alcohol.

“Opens with a fruit-bomb of wild berry briar patch before transitions into an appealingly rustic and structured zest fest, revealing heaps of licorice, roasted sage and forest floor accents that build toward medium-grained tannins. 1,192 cases. Drink now through 2030.” – 93 points, Wine Spectator (Insider 3/30/22)—T.F.



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