2017 Zinfandel, Mendocino Cuvée
The grapes for this blend came from Signal Ridge Vineyard, at 3000 feet the highest elevation vineyard in all of Mendocino County. The elevation of the vineyard is so distinctive that it falls within a special appellation, the “Mendocino Ridge,” which is the only appellation in America that is designated on basis of elevation. 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: 982 cases
|Aromatics of raspberry, pomegranate, cranberry, and minerals, followed by hints of spice and floral aromas: white pepper, rose and violets
|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.