Domestic Selection: Zinfandel, 1984; T.K.C. Vineyards

This zinfandel comes from a zinfandel specialist. He is one of very few California winemakers who prefer to produce only one kind of wine. In the case of Harold Duffer, his love is zinfandel. But he has more loves than that: he loves his winery in Plymouth, Cal­ifornia enough to commute 487 miles, about twice per month, or more often, from his home in Chi­na Lake, Southern California. And he also loves his three daughters, after whose initials he named the winery: T.K.C. for Tierre, Karina, and Courtnay.

His profession is that of an aerospace engineer, but his secon­dary profession has become that of an enologist. You see, he was puttering with home winemaking for a while, and decided to go at it seriously, so he wrote to the Uni­versity of California, Davis, ask­ing for a copy of the curriculum for a degree in enology. What they sent him included a copy of the textbook list. He ordered the books and started reading.

Why specialize in red Zinfan­del? After all, that is not the grape that is setting the red wine world on fire despite the fact that white Zinfandel has creamed all other wines in popularity. Simple: Harold loves red Zinfandel.

So what is this grape?

It is one that grows very well in California, and particularly so in Amador County. It is said to have origins from Yugoslavia, Hunga­ry, and around Bari, Italy. The vines from the latter location have been proven to be identical to our vines. However, only in Califor­nia, to my knowledge, is the wine offered as a varietal. It is a versa­tile grape, with the ability to pro­duce light red wines, bold red wines, late harvest wines, and of course since 1972, white or blush wines that have captivated the beginner wine enthusiasts! All these from the same grape, but dif­ferent wine growing regions and different bent in winemakers!

Our wine is a big red!

It is garnet red in color. The nose is rich with sensations. An aroma of fruit is still present, but has started to be intertwined by a bouquet of complexities. The bri­ary, spicy, varietal character of the grape is classic in this nose. The taste is rich, with a full soft body, and flavors coming forth as you savor. All forms of ripe berries emerge, and close with some tan­nin. Serve at room temperature with your favorite pizza, or with Dutch Edam cheese and French bread.

Cellaring Notes: Will complex and mellow further for 2-4 years.

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