85% Zinfandel, 10% Carignane, 5% Petite Sirah
Wild Cattle Creek
Dry Creek Valley
Blackberry, fig, and pepper notes on the nose. Dark, layered fruit on the palate with accents of black olive and cocoa. Firm, bright acidity on the finish. JO (11/20)
Despite cool spring weather that delayed budbreak, a light crop at this hillside vineyard ripened quickly. Color and tannin were slow to extract so we extended maceration after fermentation and pressed at eleven days. Fifteen months in barrel has softened the wine. This full, rich zinfandel can be enjoyed as a young wine and will develop further over the next five to six more years.
In 1998, John Olney purchased a hillside ranch halfway between the town of Healdsburg and the Pacific Ocean. In 1999, he planted six acres to zinfandel with about 5% petite sirah and carignane interplants. In 2000, an acre of pure carignane was added.
The wine is named after Wild Cattle Creek, which runs through the valley below and forms the property border. The creek is the only one in the area that runs year-around. Since the late 1800s, each summer, the local cattle descend from the dry hills to drink from the creek.
Rainfall: 25 inches (below normal)
Weather: Winter rains were light this year, totaling 25 inches. Rains in April and May helped the vines get through the summer.
Harvest Date: 10 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.5˚
TA: 6.14 g/L
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary (malolactic) fermentations; pressed at eleven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (25% one year-old, 50% two years-old, and 25% three years-old).
Aging: Fifteen months in barrel
Hand-harvested; sustainably grown (farmed) grapes, destemmed and crushed; fermented on the indigenous yeast, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 74 ppm during 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: 17
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