2009 Vintage – Russian River Valley
A Stellar Year for GAMBA Zins

2009 was an outstanding year for the Gamba family and their Russian River Valley Zinfandels.  These may be some of the best Zinfandels that Gus Gamba has made in his 10-year wine making career.

Gamba Zin Gold MedalAll three wines received Gold Medals at the prestigious Orange County Wine Competition.  The OCWC is one of the most highly regarded wine competitions in the country.  In addition, the new 2009 GAMBA Russian River Valley Zinfandel was the recipient of the 4 Star Special Recognition Gold Medal.  Quite a feather in the cap of this small family owned and operated Russian River Valley winery!


George Bato and Gus Gamba

George Bato and Gus Gamba

With the release of the 2009 GAMBA Russian River Valley Zinfandel, this year’s Gamba portfolio of wines is complete.  In a recent tasting, all three wines showed magnificently, to be enjoyed now, or cellar for another 5-7 years.

Maybe it’s the fact that Gus spends most of his time in the vineyards, or maybe it’s just  decades experience and knowing what to do with the fruit that Mother Nature gives him in any given year.  Whatever the reason, Gus Gamba is firing on all cylinders!

GAMBA 2009 Russian River Valley Zinfandel

The wine is made from old vines from a few select blocks of local and
family-owned vineyards, combined with some carefully chosen younger
vine fruit.

Think Triple Berry Pie
Inviting aromas of ripe cherries, raspberries, blueberries, spice, and clean
earth emerge from the glass.  The nuances were accentuated on the palate
with added notes of Bing cherry, loganberry, dark chocolate, white pepper,
and allspice.

Rich, jammy and delicious! The bright minerality and acidity keep the
wine in balance without being overly ripe.  Med-to-full bodied, round, and
lush with silky tannins, natural acidity, and subtle vanilla oak lead to a
long, lingering finish. YUM!

Once again, harmonious balance makes this a food friendly wine, or
delicious on its own.  Immensely Satisfying!  ($35)

GAMBA 2009 Gamba Estate Old Vine Zinfandel

The flagship wine for GAMBA Vineyards and Winery, this wine comes from the 110 year-old Gamba Estate Vineyard.  Gus farms this vineyard with meticulous attention, and only gets about 1/2 to 3/4 tons per acre.  However, the remaining cluster produce fruit of incredible intensity and flavor. 

Almost opaque in color, aromas of Bing cherry and dark plum lead to impressive flavors of Bing cheery, raspberry, clove, clean earth and spice.  Full-bodied, concentrated with depth of Old Vine Zinfandel character.  ($40)

GAMBA 2009 Moratta Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel

This is a hedonistic, juicy, sexy fruit bomb!  The wine has a vibrant, deep purple color with ruby edges; heady aromas of blackberry, Bing cherry and sweet raspberry liqueur.  Jammy flavors of Bing cherry, blackberry, chocolate, and white pepper are wrapped in gripping tannins, with good acidity that lead to a memorable finish.  Rich, voluptuous, juicy, nicely balanced, and such a pleasurable wine. It’s all about balance.

This is a perfect wine to pair with a juicy, medium-rare, Bone-in Rib Eye steak on the grill…or burgers, or pizza for that matter.  ($40)

If you’re a fan of rich, delicious Zinfandel,
treat yourself and try these gems



Putting Your Name On The Label…
A Sign Of Commitment To Quality

Agostino and Paulette Gamba with DogsWhen Agostino Gamba, Jr. decided to put the Gamba Family moniker on the label, he made a commitment to doing everything in his power to grow and  produce the best wines possible.  Having known Agostino Gamba, Jr. and his wife Paulette over 10 years, I have witnessed their  singular focus and dedication year in and year out.  And not just with the wine making.   Gus is a family man first a foremost, second only to his dedication to farming the vineyards.  He takes his responsibility as a steward of the land very seriously.

Today Gus and Paulette carry on the Gamba Family tradition, and have carved out the perfect wine country niche for their family.  Their 105-year old Estate Vineyard located in the Russian River Valley only produces about 1/2 – 3/4 tons per acre, a minuscule amount.   Think of your tomato plant only producing a one or two tomatoes each year.  Most people pull out these low-yielding vines to plant younger more vigorous vines that produce much more fruit, about 4-6 tons per acre.  The payoff with Old Vine Zinfandel is the rich, complex and intense flavors that could not be duplicated any other way.  You can’t simply plant an Old Vine Vineyard.

Red grape clusterThese century-old vines are tended with meticulous care by Gus and a couple of workers that includes hand hoeing between the rows of vines, strict attention to canopy management, and considerable thinning of the vines which entails dropping of fruit.  He adheres to strict sustainable farming practices and does not use pesticides or herbicides.

The vineyard is their backyard and a family heirloom, so he watches over the vines with loving care.  The result is some of the best Old Vine Russian River Zinfandel on the planet.

It just doesn’t get much better than this!

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