96% Zinfandel, 4% Petite Sirah
Russian River Valley
Nose of raspberries, rose petal and pepper. Medium-full bodied, soft and elegant on the palate, fine tannic structure, finishes with cherry fruit and firm acidity.
This year, Bob Ponzo’s zinfandel vines benefited from the cooler temperatures typical of the Russian River Valley. Despite late-August heat, morning fog extended ripening, adding complexity to the grapes’ aromas and flavors. We harvested the Old Vines and Triangle blocks on October 4, followed by the younger Back Block a week later. After malolactic, we blind-tasted the three, choosing the older two for their exotic fruit. Twenty-five percent new oak adds finesse, complementing the tannins and natural acidity. This elegant zinfandel will be most enjoyable over the next five to seven years. JO (9/11)
Bob Ponzo has farmed these grapes for us in the Russian River Valley since 1999. Bob’s vineyard, on deep gravely loam soils four and a half miles south of Lytton Springs, provides all of the grapes for this zinfandel. The Russian River Valley’s cooler microclimate ripens this fruit shortly after Lytton Springs and Geyserville. Small amounts of petite sirah are interplanted with zinfandel in the oldest block.
Rainfall: 42 inches (above normal)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Cool, late spring; cold summer; two very hot days in August (24 & 25) caused fruit damage cutting yields by 50%.
Harvest Dates: 4-12 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.2
Fermentation: No inoculation — natural primary and secondary; rapid color and tannin extraction. Pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% new, 30% one and two years old, 30% three and four years old, and 15% five year old).
Aging: Twelve months
All grapes hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. Minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 151 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.
Wine Spectator (15 December 2012): “Tightly wound yet richly structured, offering boysenberry and spiced anise aromas, with deep, crisp plum, dill and earthy mineral flavors that finish with big, ripe tannins. Best from 2014 through 2018.” -Tim Fish (Rated: 91)
Average Rating: 88.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 42
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