59% Zinfandel, 36% Carignane, 5% Petite Sirah
Mazzoni Home Ranch
Garnet red color. Ripe cherry fruit aroma, raspberries, compote, chapparal, and exotic oak spices. Well-defined bramble fruits on entry, juicy acid, black tea, oak spice, and very rich tannins carrying out a long finish. EB (2/20)
The nineteenth century vines, still affected by the previous year’s drought, set a small crop. Fortunately the younger, hillside parcels provided better yields. Late August heat helped flavors develop fully for a September harvest. It took an extended, eleven day fermentation to achieve full extraction. Once assembled the wine was moved to barrel where tannins could soften with aging. This sensuous wine will continue to develop over the next 7-8 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: 32 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Mid May
Weather: Wet December and January helped ease the drought. Harvest started late August and finished quickly.
Harvest Dates: 26 August – 7 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.5˚
TA: 6.03 g/L
Fermentation: Full crush, 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation, 100% floating cap. Pressed at eleven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (25% new, 35% three years-old, and 40% five years-old).
Aging: Eighteen 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; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Average Rating: 91.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 29
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