This story is as much about the person and the place as it is about the wine. The person is Mike Sterling, who was brought up by parents who loved wine. His appreciation went far beyond loving wine and all the way up to getting his enology degree from UC Davis.
The place is Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma, home to many of the finest Zinfandels produced in the state over the last 50+ years. This is the result of it being one of the first grapes to be planted in mass after prohibition. There are more 80 and 90-year-old Zinfandel vines than any other varietal. The vines may make less wine, but the wine they do make is without equal. Our selection is 81% Zinfandel.
Mike is a part time winemaker, crafting small lots of elixir while commuting to his real job as a news producer for ABC. He obviously takes his "vacations" to harvest grapes and ferment them, which is certainly a lot more work than producing news. In spite of that, he's in his 20th vintage. None of this would matter if the wine wasn't as incredible as it is. He only picks grapes from vineyards that do not use artificial fertilizers, so that the finished wine is as natural as can be. He then ages the wine for 22 months in French and American oak bottles before release.
The result is a mammoth offering with buckets of ripe black cherry, strawberry, and vanilla fit for a sumptuous feast of grilled pheasant or lamb sausages.