2016 Zinfandel, Mendocino Cuvée
This is the first year that we have produced a wine labeled “Mendocino Cuvee,” a wine that represents some of the highest quality lots of grapes in Mendocino County. The grapes for this blend came primarily from the Signal Ridge Vineyard, the highest-elevation vineyard in all of Mendocino county. The high elevation, steep slopes, and extremely rocky soil make the ideal growing conditions for making complex, balanced, compelling wines. We modeled this wine after Grand Cru wines from the Beaujolais region of France. Its light red color, excellent aromatics, and silky smooth texture mark it as a more “Old World” style of wine; extremely drinkable and enjoyable on its own.
We make this wine using a technique called “carbonic maceration.” About 10% of the grapes are pitchforked into the tank as whole clusters. We do not crush the remaining grapes, and instead let the whole berries fill the tank. The tank is closed and blanketed with CO2 gas, and the fermentation is then conducted using the native yeasts on the grapes. After fermentation, the wine is racked into a special aging barrel—a giant 900-gallon French oak barrel from Burgundy, whose large format allows us to age the wine without much oak flavor in the wine. The result is a very fruit-forward wine that has much of the character and texture of oak-aged wine, but without the typical oak flavoring. We only age the wine for four or five months in barrel, and then immediately bottle it to capture the fresh fruit character of the wine. The result is beautifully balanced wine that is delicate, yet with lots of complexity and great length in the finish.
Production: 491 cases
|Aromas:||Aromatics of black raspberry, pomegranate, cranberry, and minerals, followed by hints of spice and floral aromas: white pepper, rose and violets|
|Taste:||Lush and full-bodied. Velvety texture, beautiful red fruit: cranberry, pomegranate and darker hints of black raspberry and plum. Great acidity to balance the sweetness of the fruit, and a long, sweet fruit-filled finish.|