45% Zinfandel, 50% Carignane, 5% Petite Sirah
Mazzoni Home Ranch
Medium garnet in color, the 2001 Mazzoni exhibits the complexity of its old-vine origins. Flavors are focused, tannins firm yet rounded, acidity bright and lively. Black cherry, mixed-berry, and pomegranate fruit are evident in both nose and mouth, as are notes of bay and eucalyptus, earth and spice. This is an elegant wine—smooth, balanced, and of medium-to-full body.
The entire harvest at Mazzoni took place in one day at the beginning of September. These vines mature at more modest sugar levels than most mixed zinfandel vineyards, and provide a complex, well-structured wine. Zinfandel fruit dominates the flavor, while the firm acidity of old-vine carignane adds verve and elegance. The natural (uninoculated) primary fermentation took place in small three- and five-ton fermentors; the natural secondary (malolactic) finished within twenty-one days of pressing. Of the five parcels selected for this lovely wine, one consists of young vines, four are a hundred years old. Aged for sixteen months in air-dried american oak, it is enjoyable now, and will develop fully over the next four or five 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.
Rainfall: Less than normal. Most in mid-winter, little in spring, water stress by August.
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Warm spring, summer, and early fall.
Harvest Dates: Entire vineyard harvested 3 September.
Grapes: Average brix 24.8°. Average pH in the wine, 3.37.
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary; daily pump-overs. Pressed at eight days.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels
Time in Barrel: Sixteen months
Average Rating: 88.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 9
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