100% Hillside Grown, Old Vine Carignane
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Cherry, herbs and olive on the nose. Medium weight on the palate with fig preserves, cocoa and bright acidity on a refreshing finish.
A mild spring and warm summer provided ideal growing conditions for the old carignane vines on this rocky hillside vineyard. Though usually this varietal is slow to ripen, in 2013 flavors developed quickly. By early September, all five vineyard blocks were harvested and fermenting in separate tanks. For ideal extraction of color and tannin, juice was pumped over the floating cap of skins twice daily. After tasting, we chose Back Block for its layered fruit and balanced acidity. Enjoyable now, this fine example of an often-overlooked varietal will evolve fully over the next three to five years. JO (9/14)
Stan Buchignani’s ranch is located on Dutcher Creek Road, in the hills on the far western edge of the Alexander Valley appellation. Stan’s grandfather, Dominico Cerruti, first planted a five acre block in 1927; his father, Dino, added seven acres in the 1940’s and 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 quite 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: 24.5 inches (below average)
Bloom: Early to Mid-May
Weather: Warm spring and early summer followed by a moderate summer.
Harvest Dates: 7 September
Grapes: Average brix 25.0˚
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary. Twice daily pump-overs. Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: Air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 40% one and two years old, 40% three and four years old).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
Buchignani ranch, hand harvested grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.5 g/L tartaric acid; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 102 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: 88.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 64
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