83% Zinfandel, 15% Carignane, 2% Petite Sirah
Abundant winter rain and a cold spring were followed by intense summer heat. Harvest began mid-September; the hand-picked fruit was crushed to small tanks for natural primary fermentation. We pressed on day eight, including all the press wine for its complexity. Natural malolactic finished within three weeks, and the wines were ready for blind tasting. Two of the four chosen parcels contain nineteenth-century vines, two were planted in the 1960s; all share gravelly loam and river-rock sub-soil. Barrel-aged for seventeen months, the wine was racked every quarter for clarity. Bramble fruits and exotic spice impart opulence, depth and classic old-vine character. The 2006 is delicious now; its firm structural tannins assure a decade of further development.
The two-room Independence School was built in the 1870’s and served the ranches south of Geyserville for nearly a century. Several of the small vineyards we harvest in what is now Geyserville Township are located in the historic school district. The old school, now a residence, stands adjacent to the vineyards.
Rainfall: Fifty-five inches (slightly above normal)
Weather: Wet Spring and warm dry summer, with rain at end of harvest
Harvest Dates: 14-22 September
Grapes: Average Brix: 24.8°
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and fully crushed into small (1-5 ton capacity) fermentors. Natural yeast fermentation; pressed at six days. Uninoculated malolactic.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak (17% new, 36% one to two years, 47% three to five years old)
Aging: Seventeen months in barrel
Average Rating: 89.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 42
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