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Zinfandel Hillside 2019 Madrona

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Zinfandel Hillside 2019 Madrona
Zinfandel Hillside 2019 Madrona
Tasting notes

Our full-bodied and authentic Zinfandel consistantly displays intense raspberry, black pepper, and spice aromas along with flavors which make it  classic El Dorado Zinfandel. Warm days and cool nights allow our grapes to slowly reach optimum maturity while maintaining excellent natural acidity. This, combined with minimal irrigation, results in a balanced wine rich with varietal character.

2019 Vintage

It’s a spicy Zin! Actually, the 2019 is a more restrained Zinfandel highlighting some of the intense spice characters we can get at these higher elevations while focusing on balance. This blend of 4 of our 5 Zin vineyards also emphasizes the beauty in Zin complexity when picked at maturity. The aromas really embrace the black pepper aspects of the variety with other savory spices layering throughout. More mountain red fruit builds with each sniff as plum and subtle soy sauce lend even more complexity. The entry on this wine is mouth-filling but not overly luscious as riper Zins sometimes are. There’s a striking density to the wine both in color and texture as the first sip floods the senses. Darker berry fruit with that pinch of spice fills the mid-palate while embracing the cool-climate acidity, keeping the wine fresher and more inviting. The finish with its structured tannins keeps the wine bold and hearty through the lingering blackberry and, dare I say it…spicy expressions of this Zinfandel! 

Varietal Composition97.7% Zinfandel
2.3% Petite Sirah
AppellationEl Dorado
VineyardEstate Vineyards
Aging16 months in neutral oak barrels
Volume750 ml
Bottling Date03/30/2021
Cases Produced737

Our Zinfandel vineyards are planted in three distinct hillside microclimates, giving us an uncommon complexity in our wine. The oldest, located on the home estate, was planted in 1973 on the west facing slopes with an old UC Davis clone. Traditionally cordon-trained with a California-sprawl trellising system, this block always produces the ripest blackberry-charactered Zins for blending. In contrast, our two vineyards (Sumu Kaw and Enyé) in Pleasant Valley (1994) produce spicier wines with more black pepper and dark cherry fruit. Although planted at the same time 2800-3000 foot elevation as the home vineyards, the mixture of selected Zinfandel clones grafted to devigorating rootstocks gives us a unique opportunity to explore the different structural aspects of variety.

Paul Bush, Owner/Winemaker

Madroña Vineyards

Camino, California. 


We are a family-owned and operated winery focusing on terroir-driven, Estate-Grown fruit.

Annual Case Production:  12,000 cases

Planted Acres:  70 acres planted at the 2,850 to 3,000 foot elevation.

Career Background:  Having helped plant the family vineyards as a kid in 1973, I grew up working in our winery what seemed like every day after school. I had no intention of “winding up” in the wine industry and graduated from U.C. Davis in 1989 with a degree in Economics. However, with an interest in traveling abroad, our winery offered a flexible schedule and an opportunity to work with inspiring winemakers such as Mark Foster and Hugh Chappelle. I began managing the vineyards and business in 1991 and making the wines in late 2002.

Biggest Professional Challenge: Balance! Working with my wife, Maggie, we find our greatest challenge is how to be business owners with all of its responsibilities while making the wines, growing the grapes, marketing the brand and raising two daughters. Any given day can be filled with dusting the vineyards at daybreak, acid trials before lunch, working in the tasting room in the afternoon—and then throw in a swim meet or school play for spice.  Undoubtedly, every small, family winery tackles the same aspect of wearing so many hats, but the challenge and excitement is unique to each one.

Varietals that Madroña is Known for:  In total, we grow 27 varieties in our El Dorado vineyards. From within these plantings, however, I believe that Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Riesling and the seven Portuguese varieties (for our New-World Port) are consistently outstanding.

Short Testimonial: I truly can’t imagine doing anything else but growing grapes and enjoying  wine. I believe the terroir of our region is unique with overall cool-climate aspects, peppered with warm summer days and a slightly shorter growing season. So finding the true expression of each variety for our vineyards ends up being an exciting and challenging adventure every vintage. The wines have more backbone and structure than most regions of California while showcasing the intense varietal character of mountain fruit. Most often, I find that the wine knows best in how it should be “made,” and I’m just along for the ride. As we once heard in France, “One does not make wine. One elaborates wine!” And with our Estate-grown grapes, I am quite content to be the “elaborator.”

Click on the links below to get information about our
other vintages.
2019 2015
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