A long wet spring disrupted set at Buchignani Ranch, and cut yields from the old carignane vines. This, in turn, provided wine with full flavors, and more structure than is typical of the varietal. Temperatures in August and September varied greatly—from cold and foggy to extremely hot. We picked all five vineyard blocks on September 28. After natural primary and secondary fermentations, the wine was racked to air dried american oak for twelve months of barrel aging. To complement the added intensity of the vintage, the amount of new oak was slightly increased. Enjoyable now, the wine will evolve over the next four to five years.
Stan Buchignani’s ranch is located on Dutcher Creek Road, in the hills on the far western edge of the Alexander Valley appellation. The majority of the vineyard’s carignane was planted in the 1940s. Stan’s grandfather, Dominico Cerruti, planted the first block in 1927; his father, Dino, planted the last in the early 1950s. The vineyard’s climate bears a strong resemblance to that of upper Dry Creek Valley, three miles to the south, where days are warm. Fog, which tends to hang low in the valley, burns off sooner in the hills. Carignane from Buchignani is complex; its fine structure much like that of a field-blend zinfandel.
Rainfall: 42 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Cool, late spring; cold summer; two very hot days in August (24 & 25) reduced yields.
Harvest Date: 28 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.1˚
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary. Pressed at ten days.
Barrels: Air-dried american oak barrels (10% new, 35% one and two years old, 55% three and four years old).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
All grapes hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. Minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 179 ppm 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: 53
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