100% Hillside Grown, Old Vine Carignane
Black cherry, cocoa, tobacco and a hint of mint in the nose. Medium bodied on the palate with lively acid, raspberry fruit and licorice. Clean minerally finish.
Warm weather arrived early, and continued through summer. The heat brought our earliest Buchignani harvest to date; we began August 28, and finished September 3. The five blocks fermented separately; after malolactic, we chose Top, Front, and Hillside blocks for their richness and intensity. This old-vine carignane is one of the ripest in recent years. It shows abundant red fruit and firm acidity—hallmarks of the varietal. Enjoyable now, it will be at its best over the next five or six years.
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: 18 inches (half of normal)
Weather: Very dry and cold December and January; most of the rain fell February through April. Cool spring and early summer accelerated ripening.
Harvest Dates: 28 August and 3 September
Grapes: Average brix 25.0˚
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary. Twice daily pump-overs. Pressed at ten 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, sustainably grown grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 195 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: 89.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 58
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