100% Hillside Grown, Old Vine Carignane
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Cocoa, minerally plum fruit on the nose followed by black cherry, refreshing acidity and spicy chapparal on the finish. JO (3/17)
The hot, arid conditions of northern Sonoma County are ideal for growing carignane. The 2015 growing season began early and for the first time we picked all five vineyard parcels by September 1st. After fermentation we tasted each lot and selected the House and Front blocks for their bright fruit and elegant tannins. Enjoyable now this fine carignane will continue to develop over the next four to five 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: 33 inches (below normal)
Weather: Very wet December, followed by the driest January on record (0.05”). Cool, wet spring weather helped with rainfall totals, but reduced our crop across all varieties.
Harvest Dates: 17 August
Grapes: Average brix 24.4˚
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary. Twice daily pump-overs. Pressed at six days.
Barrels: Air-dried american oak barrels (10% new, 35% one and two years old, 55% 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, 66 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: 87.7
No. of Tasting Notes: 59
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