Wine Advocate 93
The 2016 Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard is medium garnet-purple in color and opens with notions of raspberry tart, kirsch and red currant jelly with suggestions of tobacco, mossy bark and dusty soil plus a waft of white pepper. Big, concentrated and powerful in the mouth, it has a solid frame of chewy tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long and earthy.
The nose of this wine opens onto a delightful tableau of tiny red berries, balanced against just a nuance of cedar. On swirling, the nose will deepen, showing the layered beauty that is what an old vine Zinfandel can be. Take a moment, and plump raspberries, tart red currants, and just a hint of blueberry jam will unfold. Take a sip, and you will find a rich bed of tannins backing up a bracing acidity. Notice how the front of the palate is crisp, with a distinct character of tart Rainier cherries, and also how it quickly mellows into soft layers of rich brambleberry and cocoa. Overall, this wine is beautifully balanced and designed to age. This wine is unfined and unfiltered. Drink now or hold for 10-plus years. ~winery notes
Richard Arrowood is an iconic winemaster who has been making wine exclusively in Sonoma County for more than for 50+ years. From 1974 through 1990, he created the wines for Chateau St. Jean, where he developed some of the first vineyard-designate Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon produced in Sonoma County. He and his wife, Alis, founded Arrowood Winery with the 1985 vintage. Each year, they made extraordinary small-lot varietals and vineyard designates. Richard was the winemaster at Arrowood Winery until June 2010, when he resigned his position to devote himself full-time to making wines for his estate winery, Amapola Creek Vineyards and Winery.
Completed just in time for crush in October 2007, Amapola Creek Winery is a very small, ultra-premium facility with state-of-the-art equipment. We wanted to keep the design in line with current and historic land use in Sonoma Valley, so we chose a rustic red barn-like exterior. The structure, encompassing 5,100 square feet indoors, consists of metal panels packed with phenomenal insulation materials. We have another 2,000 square feet under a canopy for our tanks and press. In addition, we installed photovoltaic panels that generate the majority of our electrical needs by harnessing the power of the sun, allowing us to be a sustainable facility. The winery has everything we need for our minimal intervention approach to winemaking, yet has nothing extraneous or fancy. It’s the winery of our dreams!
Amapola CreekView all from Amapola Creek
Alis & Richard ArrowoodThe Amapola Creek story began in 2001 when Richard and I discovered a very special place on the western slope of the Mayacamas Mountains--those magnificent mountains that rise between and separate the Sonoma and Napa valleys. From the first moment we set foot on the 100-acre ranch that we now call home, we both felt a sense of recognition. It was almost as if we had known and loved the place in another lifetime. There is, in fact, a deep connection to the past here. The red-brown volcanic soils reveal the mountain's fiery history, and traces remain of the old stagecoach road that once ran through the property. Stone walls still stand where Chinese immigrants built them more than a century ago.
At the time, we were completely smitten by the expansive, yet intimate beauty. Immediately in his mind's eye, Richard saw the mountainside vineyards he would plant on the steep volcanic slopes and the new winery that would be nestled amid a stand of ancient oak trees.
Now Richard has approximately 20 acres of certified organic vineyards from which to craft the best wines of his career, and together we share the peaceful home we built on the crest of the ridge--with its views of the sunset...and the winery!
"It's hard to believe that Dick Arrowood, who starred at Château St. Jean in the 1970s, has logged 50 years of winemaking in Northern California, primarily in Sonoma. He pretty much put Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese-styled Rieslings on the map, developed an ambitious program at Château St. Jean for single vineyard Chardonnays, and gets little credit as one of the early pioneers and believers in the Rhône Ranger movement. I had a chance to taste with him at his winery just north of Sonoma, and there's no resting on his laurels, even after a career that started in 1965 and continues 50+ years later." -eRobertParker.com #223 Mar 2016