2018 Zinfandel, Heart Arrow Ranch
The Heart Arrow ranch is one of the finest biodynamic farms in Mendocino County—a completely self-contained ecosystem where not only grapes but vegetables, fruit-trees, pigs, cows, lambs, and chickens all make a self-sustaining microcosm without herbicides or pesticides. The combination of these farming techniques and our winemaking techniques work to make this an unusual zinfandel, one that is very different in aroma, flavor, and structure than a classic California zinfandel, and more like a wine from Burgundy or Beaujolais. How is this wine different? First of all, we don’t crush the grapes but instead use whole clusters and uncrushed destemmed grapes to create a “carbonic maceration” style of wine. We ferment the wine with the native yeasts on the grapes; age the wine in a huge 900 gallon French oak barrel; and bottle the wine with low SO2 levels. Like the other wines in the Les Enfants Terribles (the “Wild Children”) series, this wine is made in a more Old World style (i.e. soft and elegant) style than a classic California Zinfandel.
Although this area in Mendocino was exposed to wildfires late in the harvest season, we luckily had harvested these grapes long before the fires broke out, in early September. The grapes were tiny and very intense, producing a fruit-forward, dark red, luscious wine. When destemming the clusters, we let the whole berries drop into the tank for fermentation, and also pitchforked 10% whole clusters into the tank. We wanted the wine to ferment inside of the berries, which produces a beautiful, fruit- forward aroma and a light, velvety texture to the wine. The wine shows excellent fruit and mineral aromas, and the wine has an absolutely beautiful texture and depth of flavor. Although this wine is beautiful to drink right now, it can improve with age as well, at least 8 years from the vintage date.
Production: 372 cases
Color: Dark red
Aromas: Extremely aromatic, black cherry, pomegranate, earth, violets, clove spice, black pepper
Taste: Soft, velvety texture, mouthfilling, complex flavors of black cherry, pomegranate, strawberry, black raspberry, chocolate, minerals, and black pepper spice.