Zinfandel, Hidden Hillside Reserve Sonoma County 2017
About the Vintage
2017 is another great vintage for Zinfandel in Sonoma County. 2017 had a few significant vintage events: (1) Upon bud break, a lighter than normal crop was observed: a well-boding sign of a quality vintage. (2) During bloom (around May) we had a very cool period, which resulted in lots of unfertilized berries. These berries are removed from our sorting table, in observance of our insistence on quality over quantity, and our sorting tables were busy. (3) A significant heat spike in early September sent many wineries into harvest, but our wise team held off and allowed the vineyard to rebound… which brought about amazing perfume, complexity, and depth to a small, high-quality harvest. Our final wines reflect the nuances of the 2017 year and we believe this will be a favorite vintage for many of our fans and collectors.
Connoisseurs' Guide | 95 points + 3 Stars
Top Ten 3 Star Wines of 2020
Picking a favorite from the new Beekeeper releases each year is far from easy, but it is a task that is nothing less than a pure joy, and the winery’s three new offerings only strengthen its place as a Zinfandel maker at the absolute top of its game. The 2017 Hidden Hills Reserve, while a bit tight, is a wine of enormous depth and detail and, as expected, shows the structure and sheer fruity volume that typify Beekeeper’s very best efforts. It surprises a bit by being momentarily juicy in a way that almost tempts drinking now, but, however rich it may be in its youth, its tantalizing suggestions of certain layering to come keep us from prematurely pulling its cork. Expect no fewer than five or six years of positive growth and count on it being better yet as it reaches its tenth anniversary.
Purely Domestic Wine Review | 97 points
The nose is immediately open and assertive with forward orange, plum and wild grape flecked with Demerara and cocoa powder. The palate entry is supple, polished stone fruits integrated with orange, sandalwood and nutmeg that deliver a saturated yet lively dimension to the core. Youthful on the finish. Give it a year, really.
Wine Enthusiast | 94 points
A reserve-tier wine made only in worthy years, this delivers complex, richly layered flavors of blueberry, blackberry and nutmeg with plenty of power in the glass. Blended with a small amount of Petite Sirah, it comes from two sites in Rockpile, aged 15 months in French oak. Soft, rounded and in balance within its context of concentration, it offers firm tannin, dried herb earthiness and a lasting taste of black pepper and licorice.
Grape: Zinfandel (90% Zinfandel & 10% Petite Sirah)
Vineyard: 75% GT Vineyard in Rockpile, 25% Madrone Spring Vineyard, Rockpile.
100% Rockpile this year - The Madrone Spring Site is Dry Farmed, and CCSF Sustainably Farmed.
Appellation: Rockpile, Sonoma County
Vintage: 2017 - Bottled March 19th, 2019
Winemaker: Clay Mauritson, Emma Kudritzki, Ian Blackburn
Alcohol: 14.9%PH: 3.70 TA: 5.910 (g/L)
Aged: 15 months in 100% French Oak (30% new)