72% Zinfandel, 22% Carignane, 6% Petite Sirah
Mazzoni Home Ranch
Medium ruby color. Scented ripe cherry aroma, black tea, gravel earth, and oak spice. Ripe red berry fruits on entry, elegant tannins, lively acid, wonderfully layered; great length to finish. EB (12/18)
This beautiful, century-old vineyard, north of Geyserville, suffered the drought’s worst effect on yields. The oldest vines were down seventy percent, while the younger terraced vines fared better. Harvested mid- August, eight parcels fermented separately. By taste, those showing greatest vineyard character were combined. Seventeen months’ time in barrel has complimented the wine’s rich fruit. It will be at its best over the next six 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: 33” (below normal)
Weather: Very wet December, followed by the driest January on record (0.05″ rainfall). Cool, wet spring weather helped with rainfall totals, but reduced our crop across all varieties.
Harvest Dates: 15-19 August
Grapes: Average brix 24.1˚
Fermentation: Full crush, 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation, 100% floating cap. Pressed at six days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (22% new, 34% two years old, 30% four years old, 14% five years old)
Aging: Seventeen 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; 0.27 g/l tartaric acid; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush; 85 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: 90.1
No. of Tasting Notes: 40
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