80% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane
Most of this twenty-five-acre vineyard is planted to carignane, but it includes several acres of zinfandel on a rocky knoll near the house. Stan Buchignani is the third generation of his family to tend these beautiful sixty- to seventy-five-year-old vines. Anticipating rain on September 22, Stan began picking on the eighteenth. Those grapes were not yet fully ripe, so we held off, and picked the rest ten days later. After natural primary and secondary fermentations, the wine was racked to american oak. To further soften the zinfandel’s firm tannins, more carignane was added during aging. Full-flavored, but elegant in structure, this wine will be enjoyable over the next five to seven 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: 42 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Cool, late spring; cold summer; two days of damaging heat in late August and a long, mild fall.
Harvest Date: 18 and 28 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.4˚
Fermentation: Grapes fermented on the naturally-occurring yeasts. Pressed at seven days. Full malolactic carried out without inoculation.
Barrels: Air-dried american oak barrels (20% new oak, 35% one to two years old, 45% three, four and 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. Minimum effective sulfur added (35ppm at crush, 152ppm 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: 89.8
No. of Tasting Notes: 51
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