93% Zinfandel, 7% Petite Sirah
Russian River Valley
Enticing nose of ripe raspberry, plum and black pepper; medium bodied, soft sensuous mouthfeel, cherry pie fruit, mineral notes and firm acid to the elegant, persistent finish.
After a dry winter, bud-break came early at this Russian River Valley vineyard. The resulting long season extended hang time, and provided superb flavor. We picked Old Vine block on October 8, and returned October 11 for Front and Back blocks. Following fermentation, we chose the eighty-five-year-old Old Vine block—a mix of ninety percent zinfandel and ten percent petite sirah—and the Front block, for their aromatics and dark fruit. Enjoyable now, this cool-climate zinfandel will be at its best over the next four to five years. JO (9/14)
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 fruit 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: 24 – 30 inches (below average)
Weather: Warm spring and early summer followed by cooler weather that slowed ripening.
Harvest Dates: 1 October and 16 October
Grapes: Average brix 25.5 degrees
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and crushed, pumped over a floating cap and pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% new, 40% one and two years old, 35% three and four years old)
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
Hand harvested, Bob Ponzo vineyard grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 1.6% water addition; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 159 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.
California Grapevine (Vol. 41, October 2015): 91 Points. Medium-dark to dark purplish ruby; attractive, big, ripe, peppery, toasty, boysenberry and blackberry jam aroma; full body; big, rich, fleshy, dark cherry and blackberry fruit flavors with good depth and balance; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Approachable and appealing to drink now. Very highly recommended. (Group Score: 16.1, 0/1/1; My Score: 17 [91/100], second place)
Average Rating: 88.9
No. of Tasting Notes: 52
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