William Knuttel Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012

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Dry Creek Valley

What happens when the winemaker behind some of California’s top boutiques strikes out on his own? Taste for yourself. Bill Knuttel’s the guy, Saintsbury and Chalk Hill (among others) are the wineries he helped make great, and this is classic California Zinfandel, direct from Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley – which, “for many Zinfandel drinkers, is considered the heartland,” writes Wine Spectator.

Zinfandel is Bill’s specialty – his famed Ottimino label regularly fetches 90-plus points from top critics. Here’s the version he makes just for us. Trust us – it’s not to be missed.

The grapes grow on 50-year-old vines in two prime-sited vineyards: Cartee and Biglieri (the latter is where he sources grapes for Ottimino!). Like the fencer on the label, this ruby-colored gem from the superb 2012 vintage shows finesse and balance. A touch of oak aging adds notes of spice to layers of zippy red fruits (cranberry, raspberry and more). This is a wine tailor made for hearty meats – from char-grilled kebabs to beef roasts or even turkey (a big staff favorite).

One of the ways Bill keeps his quality so high (and the wines tasting so good) is by producing strictly limited batches. With so few bottles in our cellars, you’ll want to get in quickly!