93% Zinfandel, 4% Petite Sirah, 3% Carignane
This, our tenth vintage from the Nervo Ranch, provided fruit of extraordinary intensity despite a late start to the growing season. Fortunately, summer weather was unusually warm, ripening vines by early October. The southern-most parcels (both old and young vines) were picked first, followed eight days later by the old vines to the north. We divided the grapes into five small tanks for the natural-yeast fermentation. The young-vine fruit was held submerged for greater extraction, and the rest allowed to float, with twice-daily pump-overs; we pressed at six days to maintain tannin balance. When natural malolactic was complete, we assembled the wine by blind tasting. Eighty percent comes from century-old vines, which impart structure, depth, and complexity. The remaining twenty percent, from the young vines, adds rich berry fruit and exotic spice. Use of new and one-year-old oak was limited, allowing fruit to dominate. This classic zinfandel will be at its best over the next five to seven years.
Frank and Marie Nervo left Italy’s Veneto for the United States in the early 1890s. Like many such Italian pioneers to northern California, they settled at the Italian Swiss Colony in Asti. In 1896, they were able to purchase two hundred and fifty acres south of Geyserville; it included ten acres of hillside vineyard. They planted more vines and, in 1908, built a square, two-story stone winery, which they named Venezia, after their home region. This wine comes from the hillside of mixed zinfandel and petite sirah planted over one-hundred years ago and the rest from mature fifteen year old vines.
Average Rating: 89.1
No. of Tasting Notes: 40
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