81% Zinfandel, 19% Carignane
This twenty-five-acre vineyard sits atop a rocky knoll in northern Sonoma County. As in 1999, our first vintage, the vineyard is farmed by Stan Buchignani, the third generation of his family to tend these beautiful sixty to seventy-five-year old vines. A cool spring and difficult weather during flowering severely limited the zinfandel crop. With fewer grapes to ripen, the growing season progressed quickly. We harvested all seven acres of zinfandel in one day, September 1. The vines yielded less than two tons per acre. After a natural-yeast fermentation, we chose to include additional carignane from the vineyard to soften tannins and lift acidity. The wine aged in american oak, twenty percent new, for twelve months. Perhaps our most structured and concentrated Buchignani zinfandel to date, this excellent wine will develop and be enjoyable over the next seven to eight years.
This wine comes from a small planting of old-vine zinfandel on the Buchignani Ranch on Dutcher Creek Road in the hills north of Dry Creek Valley. (Carignane planted on the rest of the ranch provides a separate ATP selection.) The zinfandel block, approximately five acres in size, was planted sixty to seventy years ago. The vines are on a rocky knoll overlooking the family home where Stan Buchignani, grandson of the ranch’s founder, Domenico Cerruti, lives today.
Rainfall: 30 inches (below average) with a dry spring
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Dry spring with a warm dry summer and fall. No sustained heat spells.
Harvest Dates: 1 September
Grapes: Average Brix 26.3˚
Fermentation: Floating cap, naturally-occurring yeasts. Pressed at seven days. Full natural malolactic.
Barrels: Air-dried american oak barrels (20% new oak, 27% one to two years old, 20% three years old, and 33% four to five years old.
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
Grapes hand harvested, destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. A total of 3 percent rehydration during fermentation. Minimum effective sulfur added (35ppm at crush, 164ppm over the course of aging). Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Average Rating: 90.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 71
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