Dry Creek Valley
Color – Deep garnet. Nose – Crushed blackpepper, clove, blackberry jam, rhubarb and cranberry, baked cherry pie, plum, seductive pungent aromas. Palate – Deep, dense, rich and layered mixed berry fruit, jam, lively acid, full bodied and coated tannins, lengthy finish with sweet briar fruit.
This is our first wine entirely from vines on the benchland that separates Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys. The original vines were abandoned in 1920; we replanted in 2000, using budwood from our own old-vine vineyards. Despite late spring rains and cool weather, the crop was good. We thinned heavily at veraison to assure concentration. August is usually hot. Instead, it was foggy and cool, with occasional showers. It became a challenge to determine how long to wait for the grapes to ripen before moisture caused serious problems; we went through the vineyards several times to remove damaged clusters. At harvest, the remaining fruit was clean and fully ripe. Primary and secondary fermentations were natural. To maximize extraction, the skins macerated for ten days and were pressed at dryness. After malolactic, the wine aged for thirteen months in air-dried american oak. This is classic Dry Creek — rich and structured with brambly dark fruit and chalky, yet balanced, tannins. It will be most enjoyable over the next five to six years. JO (11/07)
This is our first wine entirely from vines on the benchland that separates Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys. The soils are identical across the bench as are the climatic conditions giving the vines the chance to demonstrate character consistent in the wines as they mature fully. The original vines were abandoned in 1920. More of these vineyard blocks have been replanted each year over the last thirty years. This wine is from vines replanted in 2000, using budwood from our own old-vine vineyards. The East Bench zinfandel is classic Dry Creek — rich and structured with brambly dark fruit and chalky yet balanced tannins.
Rainfall: Fifty-five inches (above average)
Weather: Wet spring with a warmer than usual summer, and a cool fall. mid-harvest.
Harvest Dates: 21 September – 15 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.0
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Pressed at ten days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (10% new, 34% three years old, 56% five and six years old)
Aging: Fifteen months in barrel
Wine Spectator (29 September 2008): “Offers a nice mix of rustic power and elegance, with black raspberry and roasted dill aromas that lead to dried cherry, cedar and cracked pepper flavors. Drink now through 2012. ” (Rated: 88) -Tim Fish
California Grapevine (Vol. 34, No. 4, August-September 2008): “Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, briary, cedary, cherry and blackberry fruit aroma; full body; forward, rich, briary, plummy, blackberry fruit flavors; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Highly recommended.”
(Group Score: 15.8 of 20 points, 0/0/0; My Score: 16.5 [89/100], sixth place)
Average Rating: 89.4
No. of Tasting Notes: 41
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