58% Zinfandel, 40% Carignane, 2% Petite Sirah
Mazzoni Home Ranch
Giuseppi Mazzoni planted this typical field blend in 1899; the 2006 vintage is our eleventh from those original vines on a hillside north of Geyserville. A cold spring on the north coast set back the growing season; a mild summer and cool autumn delayed harvest further. Timing is crucial in a mixed vineyard like Mazzoni. Repeatedly sampling berries from each block over a two-week period, we confirmed ideal maturity by September 30, and harvested that day. Three mostly-zinfandel parcels were crushed into a submerged-cap fermentor. Two, primarily carignane, fermented with a floating cap. We pressed at dryness on the ninth day. A natural malolactic was complete by late October. in our forty-four year history with zinfandel, we have found that only wines from very old vines can naturally achieve full flavor at such moderate ripeness. This delicious, unusual wine will be at its best over the next five to seven 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, the Mazzoni family produced wine there until 1978. They were great believers in the contribution each varietal in a field blend could make to the finished wine. Accordingly, their century-old zinfandel is interplanted with carignane, which adds elegance and lively acidity, 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 abandoned hillside, and in some years we will include a small amount from these young zinfandel vines.
Rainfall: 55 inches (above average); late spring and early summer rains.
Bloom: Mid-May (normal)
Weather: Cool, wet spring and warm, dry summer; rain at end of harvest.
Harvest Date: 30 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.0˚
Fermentation: No inoculation. Natural primary and secondary, daily pump-overs. Pressed at nine days.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (29% new, 10% two years old, 61% four years old)
Time in barrel: Fifteen months in barrel
Average Rating: 89.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 50
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