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Waypoint Zinfandel Old Vine Bell Road Amador County 2019  - First Bottle


93 Wine Enthusiast -
Editors Choice - This complex and harmonious wine carries deep, concentrated and diverse flavors on a good structure of fruit, acidity and moderate tannins. It is full bodied, mouthfilling and interesting to savor for its intricate black-pepper, ginger, toast, blackberry and mint flavors.

Technical Details

  • BlendZinfandel
  • WinemakerPhilippe Melka, Maayan Koschitzky, and Matt Sands
  • CountryUS
  • RegionCalifornia
  • AppellationAmador County
  • VineyardOld Vine Bell Road
  • Alcohol14.5%

Waypoint Zinfandel Old Vine Bell Road Amador County 2019

Zinfandel  |  US

50% off retail!

Waypoint is all about sourcing from high-profile vineyards and underrated plots alike. They look for vines that are farmed sustainably, with reverence for the land’s past, present, and future – and pay close attention to the practices utilized in caring for and harvesting the fruit. This fruit-first philosophy dictates their single-vineyard, single-variety, single-vintage approach to winemaking, allowing place, fruit, and time to drive the result of their exquisite wines. This 2019 old vine zinfandel – scoring 93 points and now more than half-off retail – from Amador County’s Bell Road vineyard is one such example of taking exceptional fruit from an under-the-radar plot to craft something unbelievably deep, diverse in flavor and concentrated.

Based in Napa Valley’s charming town of St. Helena, Waypoint Vineyards isn’t afraid to go outside of county lines to craft their stunning and sensuous wines. Their careful sourcing and selection process grants them the freedom to explore a number of wine regions throughout California. With today’s wine, we’re brought to a location southeast of Sacramento, in the heart of Shenandoah Valley in Amador County. Bell Road Vineyard is a substantial 413-acre property, with 91 acres dedicated to vineyards. The old vine zin specialists at Turley made this vineyard famous – with their revered “Judge Bell” bottling sourced from this picture-perfect setting of rolling hills, vineyards, oak trees, and the storybook Steiner Pond. Renwood’s iconic “Grandpere” block is just down the road – making this ground zero for world-class Amador zinfandel.

Amador is perfect for zinfandel – with warm days giving way to cool, breezy evenings, thanks to temperate gusts coming down from the Sierra Nevada mountains. The soils here are iron-rich decomposed granite laced with sandy clay loam, enabling the grapevines’ root systems to grow deep and strong – hence the ability to sustain healthy old vine zinfandel in these parts. This is almost certainly why all-star winemaker trio Philippe Melka, Maayan Koschitzky, and Matt Sands chose to source their 2019 old vine zinfandel from this exact locale.

“Waypoint” means “a stopping place on a journey” – an ever-apt name for single-vineyard designated wines made with the utmost care and craftsmanship. This zinfandel, however, can’t be described as a stopping place, as it transforms and unfolds in the glass into some kind of adventure of sorts for the palate. Full-bodied and mouth-coating, it walks you through many a flavor experience on your journey: boisterous blackberry jam, zingy ginger root, spicy black peppercorn, richly charred fire-roasted bread, sensuous shaved dark chocolate, refreshing mint leaves. It’s not the jammy juice bomb that some zins turn into – but it isn’t lacking fruit either. Instead, its fruit-forwardness is properly accompanied by a lovely zip of acidity and moderate tannins to create something entirely fascinating and deliciously drinkable. For under $20, it’s well worth an investment in a 6-pack to experience this showing of exceptional fruit from a lesser-known region that happens to grow robust and rocking wines!

PAIRING IDEAS: Occasionally, I love the balance of a lighter meal alongside bigger reds like this, especially in the warmer months. Try a kale salad with red grapes, walnuts, and feta with a poppyseed vinaigrette for something peppery, bright, and light to allow the big flavors of this gorgeous zin shine.

About the Producer

The name Waypoint refers to the intersection of longitude and latitude on a GPS, so Waypoint wines are always single-vineyard, single-varietal expressions of a singular terroir. Today's wine tells a story of one of the true gems of Oakville, perched on a plateau of the famous red dirt just below Pritchard Hill with neighboring vineyards like Dalla Valle, Peter Michael's Au Paradis, Phelps' Backus, Tor's Tierra Roja and Turnbull's Leopoldina (also known as Weitz).