47% Zinfandel, 47% Carignane, 6% Petite Sirah
Mazzoni Home Ranch
Color: Medium ruby
Nose: Big, complex. High perfumed/floral notes, sweet incense; cedar, leather, mineral.
Palate: Darker tones emerge. Hints of tar and licorice, ripe flavors of plum and sweet cherry. Youthful, exciting and complex; good acid/tannin balance. Needs a little time.
A modest crop on the old vines at the Home Ranch ripened in early September. Middle Block, dominated by zinfandel, was fermented with the grapes submerged to extract maximum richness and flavor. Carignane from Front Block and grapes from The Hill’s field blend were allowed to float, retaining the elegance of the former, and moderating the tannins of the latter. Both primary and secondary fermentations were uninoculated, carried out by the naturally occurring yeasts and malolactic bacteria. Twenty percent of the wine was barrel aged in new, air-dried West Virginia oak, the rest in three- and five-year-old Missouri oak. This very full, firmly structured wine will benefit from a year in bottle, and will be at its best over the next five to seven years.
Giuseppe Mazzoni and his fourteen-year-old brother-in-law, Abramo Trusendi, arrived from Italy in 1898 and went straight to work at the Italian Swiss Colony vineyard cooperative in Asti, California. In 1899, the two managed to acquire hillside acreage nearby overlooking Alexander Valley from the west. By 1910 they had built a winery and begun making wine. Except for the Prohibition years, they produced wine there until 1978. The Mazzonis were great believers in the contribution each varietals in a field blend could make to the finished wine. Accordingly, their century-old zinfandel is interplanted with carignane, which adds elegance, and petite sirah, which provides spice and depth. The Mazzoni Home Ranch was purchased in 1988 by Niccolo and Flora Oltranti. They have replanted parts of the hillside to zinfandel, supplementing the old vines’ output.
Average Rating: 89.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 11
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