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Senior Tim Fish joined the Wine Spectator staff in 2001. His tasting beat includes Oregon, Washington, California Zinfandel and Rhône-style reds, and U.S. sparkling wines.
Tim Fish

A Lively Zin from a Sonoma Classic

Pedroncelli Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Mother Clone 2007

Tim Fish
Posted: December 1, 2009

When it comes to chasing a hot new producer, I’m as guilty as any wine lover out there, but I also try to keep track of the mainstays, the classics. So when California’s best Zinfandel vintage in 30 or 40 years came along in 2007, I wasn’t surprised Pedroncelli’s Mother Clone bottling turned out to be a real beauty. After all, the family-owned Sonoma winery has been producing reliable Zins at a fair price for the better part of a century.

Harvested from hillside vineyards that range in age from 40 to 100 years, the wine has the trademark Pedroncelli bright raspberry and blackberry fruit, laced with pepper, but winemaker John Pedroncelli and his team built in more flesh and stuffing than usual. It’s just ripe enough, with 14.4 percent alcohol, and still supple and lively. I rated it 89 points, non-blind, and at $15 it’s easy on your wine budget.

WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Zinfandels, plus our quick list of Top Values in California Zinfandel.

Don Rauba
Schaumburg, IL —  December 17, 2009 10:44pm ET
Wow! That is some statement about Cali Zins, but some of my friends and I have also found many 2007s to be notably high in quality. Hoorah!!! I'm finally buying Zin again after being burned badly on most 2004s, and then mostly keeping away from 05s and 06s. Now if only more of the producers would use alternative closures and ditch the natural cork, it'd be a perfect world. :-)

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