Mazzoni Home Ranch
Deep garnet color. Ripe bramble fruit aromas, mint, gravelly earth, and exotic barrel spice. Rich cherry and plum fruits on entry, full body, field blend complexity, and medium-chalky tannins; a long, elegant finish. EB (1/18)
In a small valley north of Geyserville, these 19th-century, non-irrigated vines produced abundantly despite a third year of drought. Harvested in late August, the grapes fermented dry in seven days. After malolactic, we tasted the six parcels; each showed clear vineyard character, and we combined them. To retain elegance, we avoided new oak, aging the wine in three- to six-year-old barrels. It will be most enjoyable 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: 18 inches (1/2 of normal)
Bloom: Mid-May, with veraison by mid-August
Weather: Very dry and cold December and January; most of the rain fell February through April. Cool spring and early summer followed by an early, warm summer.
Harvest Dates: 29 August – 6 September
Grapes: Average brix 24.4˚
Fermentation: Full crush, 100% natural and primary fermentation, 100% floating cap. Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels: (18% three years old, 38% four years old, 26% five years old and 18% six years old).
Aging: Fifteen 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 (25 ppm at crush; 64 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: 72
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