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Wine of the week: Pedroncelli, 2014 Mother Clone Zinfandel

(NIKKI W./ YELP)

PEG MELNIK,

Montse Reece grew up in Spain and her father encouraged her to become a winemaker. He told her “you have good taste for wine and good brains for the rest.”

True to form, Reece is behind our wine-of-the-week winner – the Pedroncelli, 2014 Mother Clone Zinfandel at $16.

It’s an appealing take on zinfandel, one buoyed by bright acid and tangy red fruit. Notes of black pepper and anise are in the mix. It’s a crisp, lively zin, and one that’s a steal for the quality.

“Pedroncelli has a claret style zinfandel with balanced alcohols and a dry finish, showcasing the variety of flavors by minimizing the oak contact,” Reece sid. “This style has been the style of Pedroncelli for decades. To me this is a very European style and very close of what I learned and worked on back in Spain.”

Reece said she’s a good fit to craft zinfandel because she has great concentration and she’s a purist.

“Zinfandel requires focus,” Reece explained. “You need to know exactly the kind of style of wine you want to make and the wine needs to be a fit to your own taste, too. The house of Pedroncelli has been making a claret style zinfandel for decades, one that fits exactly with my taste … I want to show zinfandel in its purest form.”

The biggest challenge in making zinfandel, Reece said, is pinpointing the pick.

“It’s definitely monitoring the ripening of the grape to decide the harvest dates,” she said. “To make our balanced claret style zinfandel we need to monitor lot by lot to know when to pick so that we don’t end up with green flavors if we pick too early or on the other end a ‘hot,’ alcoholic ‘monster’ zinfandel with raisin flavors if we pick too late. We want as balanced as possible every vintage.”

Reece is from the Spanish town Tarragona, in the heart of Wine Country. Next to Tarragona are the vinicultural areas of Priorat, Penedes, Montsant, to name a few.

“When I finished High school, Tarragona’s Rovira i Virgili University offered its first degree in Enology. It was my father who knew I always had an interest in biology and I signed up right away … My father was right. Winemaking was the right choice for me.”