84% Zinfandel, 16% Carignane
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Plum, tobacco and forest floor on the nose. Medium bodied with chaparral and notes of cocoa and coffee on the finish. JO (2/19)
Another dry winter limited vigor in the old zinfandel vines on Buchignani Ranch. A reduced crop and warm weather in June and July hastened ripening and led to our earliest harvest since 1999. After fermentation, we included carignane from an adjacent block to add acidity and balance the ripe zinfandel fruit. After twelve months of barrel age, the wine is rich yet well-defined; it will evolve fully over the next five to six years.
This wine comes from a small planting of old-vine zinfandel on the Buchignani Ranch on Dutcher Creek Road in the hills north of Dry Creek Valley (carignane planted on the rest of the ranch provides a separate ATP selection). The zinfandel block, approximately five acres in size, was planted in the 1940s and ’50s on a rocky knoll overlooking the family home where Stan Buchignani, grandson of the ranch’s founder, Domenico Cerruti, lives today.
Rainfall: 18 inches (half of normal)
Weather: Very dry and cold December and January; most of the rain fell February through April. Cool spring, early summer accelerated ripening.
Harvest Dates: 28 August – 3 September
Grapes: Average Brix 26.0˚
Fermentation: Grapes fermented on the naturally occurring yeasts. Pressed at 10 days. Full malolactic carried out without inoculation.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (15% new, 40% one to two years old, and 45% three to four years old.)
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
Hand-harvested; sustainably farmed grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.2 g/L tartaric acid added; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 152 ppm during aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Average Rating: 89.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 45
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