58% Zinfandel, 42% Carignane
95 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
93 Points – Wine Spectator
Cranberry, rose petal and chapparal nose. Medium bodied with focused black cherry fruit, bright, refreshing acidity and a long clean finish. JO (7/22)
This old vine vineyard in Alexander Valley is planted half to zinfandel and half to carignane. The two varietals ripened evenly; they were picked in one day and then co-fermented for ten days until dry. The bright acidity of the carignane complements the rich, plentiful fruit of the zinfandel. Enjoyable upon release, this unique field blend will evolve over another six years. JO (2/21)
Born in Italy, Manuel Demostene moved to Healdsburg in 1902 where he found work on Santo Botti’s ranch. Santo died the next year and in 1906 Manuel married his widow, Julia, taking possession of the ranch. Around the same time, Abele Ferrari arrived from Italy and purchased what is now known as the Healdsburg Machine Shop. In 1925, he purchased the run down Soda Rock Winery, refurbishing it after prohibition. Abele’s daughter, Rose, married Manuel’s son, Leo in 1936 and they later helped run Soda Rock while raising four children on the property. The couple bought the 113 acre Sausal Ranch in 1956 and continued to buy more nearby land for their two sons, Ed and David. This wine comes from vines planted over one hundred years ago on Ed’s original twenty-ﬁve acres. Ed, who passed away in 2015, taught his daughter, Leisa, everything he knows about growing grapes. Leisa and Ward continue the family legacy, giving special attention to that block of old vine zinfandel and carignane.
Rainfall: 61 inches (above normal)
Weather: Total rainfall for the season was almost double our usual amounts. The vines responded with bountiful yields of great quality.
Harvest Date: 16 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.5˚
TA: 5.82 g/L
Fermentation: Grapes de-stemmed and crushed, pumped over a floating cap twice daily.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (10% new, 15% one year old, 15% two years old, 30% four years old and 30% five years old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel
Hand-harvested grapes fermented on the indigenous yeast, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring malolac-tic bacteria; minimum eﬀective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 30 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.
OwenBargreen.com: 95 Points “The 2019 ‘Demostene Ranch’ combines 58% Zinfandel and 42% Carignane which was sourced from old-vine plantings in the Alexander Valley. The nose shows dill and coffee ground notes alongside bramble and dried herbs alongside black cherry notes. The palate is silky smooth and refined with a seamless texture. These two varietals seem to complement each other so well, as this quite literally sings in unison with its pretty core of red and dark fruits alongside salty and savory notes. The combination of bright acidity and weight suggests this will easily cellar for another ten plus years. Drink 2023-2035.” -Owen Bargreen (April 2023)
Wine Spectator: 93 Points “Bright and vibrant, with cherry and dried cranberry flavors accented by green peppercorn and licorice. Ends with zesty tannins. Zinfandel and Carignane. Drink now through 2032.” -T.F. (June 2023)
JebDunnuck.com: 91 Points “The 2019 Demostene Ranch checks in as 58% Zinfandel and 42% Carignan that’s from a site in the Alexander Valley region of Sonoma. It has a ripe, smoky nose of mulled plums, roasted herbs, black cherries, and chocolate, and it’s medium to full-bodied, fruit-loaded, and concentrated on the palate, with velvety tannins. It’s not the most elegant wine out there, but it has good complexity and brings lots of character.” -Jeb Dunnuck (October 2023)
Wine Enthusiast: 90 Points “This brawny blend of 58% Zinfandel and 42% Carignane shows plenty of spicy character in the nose and on the palate, and has firm, fine-grained tannins wrapping its quite- ripe berry and dark plum flavors. A cedary, sun-baked expression comes out on the finish.” -Jim Gordon (November 2023)
Average Rating: 90.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 4
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