62% Zinfandel, 33% Carignane, 5% Petite Sirah
Mazzoni Home Ranch
In 1899, Giuseppe Mazzoni acquired land just north of Geyserville, and planted what became his family’s home ranch. Warm weather as the 2004 growing season began allowed a good set. That early start, and the lack of spring rain, pushed ripeness and harvest forward by several weeks. All parcels fermented separately on their natural yeasts, and were pressed at dryness after eleven days. Natural malolactic (secondary) fermentation followed, beginning in tank and finishing in barrel. We combined all four of the old-vine blocks, using more carignane than usual, thus adding elegance to the rich zinfandel and structured, spicy petite sirah. We also included a small young-vine lot for intensity and straightforward berry fruit. Defined by its zinfandel character, this excellent wine owes its level of complexity to the combination of varietals and the age of the vines. Enjoyable now, it will gain depth with each year of the next ten.
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: Below normal at 40”; very dry spring.
Bloom: May (1-2 weeks early)
Weather: Warm spring, mild summer, and early fall.
Harvest Dates: 17 August through 21 August
Grapes: Average brix at harvest 25.1˚
Fermentation: No inoculation. Natural primary and secondary, daily pump-overs. Pressed at eleven days.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (21% new, 15% one year old, 64% three to five years old)
Time in barrel: Eighteen months
Average Rating: 89.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 30
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