Montevina and the Sierra Foothills

Montevina is a winery based in Amador County in the Sierra Foothills. We have written about previous visits to Amador County. From these visits, we know that there are some interesting wines from the region. When I saw a bottle of Montevina Zinfandel for $10.50, I knew it would be a good candidate for a Bargain Wine of the Week.

Wineries appeared in the Sierra Foothills in the middle of the Nineteenth Century.  Prospecting for Gold was thirsty work, so vintners started to make wine to satisfy that need. Declining gold mining as the century ended saw a reduction in the area’s wine business. Prohibition all but killed it off. Wineries started to open again in the late sixties. Montevina was at the start of this renaissance, opening in 1970.

Montevina means Mountain Vines in Spanish. However, there are no Iberian varietals in the winery’s portfolio; which includes Pinot Grigio and Barbera.

Montevina Zinfandel

The Montevina Zinfandel cold soaked for three days before the addition of yeast. The wine fermented for a further four days before being moved to barrels. Half ages in large neutral oak containers. The rest in American oak barrels.

The resulting wine has an alcohol content of 14.5%. The typical range for California Zinfandel is 13-16%, so this sits right in the middle.

The nose was of copper infused with cherry. Plum and sharp berry flavors balanced by acidity. Subtle tannins added a hint of chocolate. 

Generally, California Zinfandel at this price would be a two-dimensional jammy fruit bomb. It is not a classic wine, but for less than $11 it is bargain. We purchased the Monetvina Zin as Raley’s. 

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