95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah
Rich, focused plum/cherry fruit; clove, sweet vanilla, pepper spice, elegant oak. Refreshing acidity, supple tannins, appealing viscosity. A layered, lingering finish. Very approachable.
Summer temperatures are usually warm in the hills north of Dry Creek Valley, but this year they were moderate, producing full flavor at reasonable sugar. This five-acre block of zinfandel vines was harvested over two days in early September. Fermented on its own yeasts, and pressed at ten days, the wine completed an uninoculated (natural) malolactic fermentation. For added depth, we included a small amount of petite sirah. Only twenty percent of the air-dried american oak used in aging was new, allowing berry and cherry fruit to define this elegantly-structured zinfandel. Beautifully balanced and approachable now, it will be at its best over the next five to seven years.
This wine comes from a small planting of old-vine zinfandel on the Buchignani Ranch on Dutcher Creek Road, in the hills on the far western edge of the Alexander Valley appellation. (Carignane planted on the rest of the ranch provides a separate ATP selection.) The zinfandel block, approximately five acres in size, was planted in the 1940s and ’50s on a rocky knoll overlooking the family home, where Stan Buchignani, grandson of the ranch’s founder, Dominico Cerruti, lives today.
Rainfall: Over 40 inches
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Warm/hot summer days; cool breezy nights.
Harvest Dates: 4 September – 6 September
Grapes: Average brix 25.7°, average pH at crush 3.47.
Fermentation: Grapes fermented on the naturally-occurring yeasts. In-tank malolactic also carried out w ithout inoculation.
Aging: Air-dried american oak barrels (18% new, 12% two years old, 18% three, 28% five, 24% six years old).
Time in Barrel: Twelve months
Average Rating: 91.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 11
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