Wine SpectrumTop 100
#10 Wine of 2018
Robert Parker has dubbed Ulises Valdez “one of the finest vineyard managers in Sonoma” and he has worked with some of California’s best winemakers like Mark Aubert (Colgin, Aubert), Paul Hobbs and Rosenblum. His impeccable wines and inspiring story have made his wines a favorite among our staff and clients, so it’s no surprise that his 2013 Sonoma Zinfandel has scooped up the #10 wine on this year’s top 100 list. We unexpectedly lost Ulises Valdez earlier this year and can’t think of a better way to toast his remarkable life than by popping open a bottle of his incredible wine.
2013 Valdez Zinfandel Tasting Notes: Carved from a vintage unanimously recognized for its unrivaled quality, Robert Parker alerts readers that it “…may turn out to be the finest vintage I have experienced in tasting North Coast varietals over the last 37 years,” this exemplary ancient vine Zinfandel absolutely shouldn’t be missed…The 2013 Valdez Zinfandel is a fresh wine with notes of licorice, black berries, and hints of cracked black pepper, with a long lingering finish. Fruit for this wine is sourced from 3 different Sonoma County AVAs Dry creek, Russian River Valley, and Alexander Valley.
Valdez was widely considered one of the most knowledgeable and skilled vineyard managers in California. He was equally regarded as one of the most warm and loving personalities in the industry. Despite the enormity of his accomplishments, Valdez carried himself with great humility. An emotional speaker who gesticulated emphatically, Valdez would alternate between cracking jokes (often self-effacing) and tearing up during one of the many poignant moments of his remarkably moving tale. Though he praised his own dedication, Valdez seemed almost surprised by his success, painting it more as a lucky strike than as what it clearly is—the deserved result of decades of relentless work and an irrepressible entrepreneurial prowess. He was the true embodiment of the American Dream. He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
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