70% Zinfandel, 28% Carignane, 2% Petite Sirah
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Mazzoni Home Ranch
Garnet color. Ripe bramble fruit aromas, toasted oak, exotic spice, spearmint. Appealing ripe bramble fruit entry, balanced acidity, polished tannins, sensuous and drinkable now. EB (1/17)
In this second drought year, Mazzoni’s non-irrigated old vines barely made it through a hot, dry summer to ripen a small crop. We filled four open-top fermentors, and gently re-circulated to extract color and tannin. To maintain balance, we pressed after only five days. Following a quick natural malolactic, we selected the best lots; for the first time in years, zinfandel, rather than carignane, predominated. This delicious wine is approachable now, and will develop further over the next five to seven years.
Giuseppe Mazzoni and his fourteen-year-old brother-in-law, Abramo Trusendi, arrived from Italy in 1898 and went straight to work at the Italian Swiss Colony vineyard cooperative in Asti, California. In 1899, the two managed to acquire hillside acreage nearby overlooking Alexander Valley from the west. By 1910 they had built a winery and begun making wine. Except for the Prohibition years, the Mazzoni family produced wine there until 1978. They were great believers in the contribution each varietal in a field blend could make to the finished wine. Accordingly, their century-old zinfandel is interplanted with carignane, which adds elegance and lively acidity, and petite sirah, which provides spice and depth. The Mazzoni Home Ranch was purchased in 1988 by Niccolo and Flora Oltranti. They have replanted parts of the abandoned hillside, and in some years we will include a small amount from these younger zinfandel vines.
Rainfall: 24 inches (below average)
Weather: Warm spring and early summer followed by cooler weather that slowed ripening.
Harvest Dates: 9 September
Grapes: Average brix 24.9˚
Fermentation: Full crush, 100% natural and primary fermentation, 100% floating cap, in four open top fermentors. Pressed at five days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels: (27% new, 29% two years old, and 44% four years old).
Aging: Seventeen months in barrel
All Mazzoni Home Ranch sustainably farmed, hand harvested grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush; 105 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: 90.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 49
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