This 2014 Bambino is a blend of 81% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 4% Alicante Bouschet, 6% Syrah, Grenache and Carignane. Bucklin calls it "Bambino" meaning "baby" because the now 20 year old vineyard is really just a baby compared to their original estate vineyard that is 130 years old. The wine was bottled after 20 months aging in neutral French oak barrels. Brimming with juicy red fruit flavors, a touch of Zinfandel spice and nice backbone from the Syrah and Petite Sirah, this is one tasty, easy drinking red from a special, historic Sonoma Valley estate.
Old Hill Ranch was established in 1851 by William McPherson Hill. Mr. Hill was the first grower in Sonoma to plant non-Mission grapes and it is believed that he planted Zinfandel as early as 1855. William died in 1897 and the land was passed onto his son, Robert Potter Hill, who farmed the Old Hill Ranch until his death in 1940. After his demise the ranch lingered in dis-repair for years until 1981 when Otto and Anne Teller purchased the property. By then the vineyard was overgrown with blackberry vines and poison oak. Otto was advised by UC Davis to rip out all the old vines and start fresh, something he really didn't want to do. So he consulted with Joel Peterson of Ravenswood because he knew Joel appreciated the value of old vines. Joel suggested that Otto try to re-vitalize the vineyard and sell the fruit to Ravenswood. In 1983 Ravenswood released their first Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel just as the vineyard was turning 100 years old. In 2000, Otto's stepchildren, Arden, Kate, Ted and Will Bucklin founded Old Hill Ranch winery and released their first Bucklin vintage from the 24-acre certified organic dry-farmed field blend of mostly Zinfandel, along with 14 other varieties including Grenache, Petite Sirah, Carignan and Alicanté Bouschet.