2021 Zinfandel, Bradford Mtn
We’ve had the pleasure of knowing Fred Peterson, the grower of this Zinfandel vineyard on Bradford Mountain in the Dry Creek Valley, for over 30 years. Fred had worked at Ridge Vineyards in the ‘80s and into the 90’s when Mike Dashe also worked at Ridge, and Ridge had made a single-vineyard Zinfandel from this same Bradford Mountain property. These vines were planted decades ago at Fred’s home estate, and he tends these vines with extraordinary attention and care.
The vintage of 2021 was the first year that Fred had offered us grapes from his estate vineyard and we jumped at the chance. This high-elevation mountain vineyard always makes very structured and complex wines, and we are honored to make a Zinfandel from the estate.
In 2021 the grapes matured slowly and then a blast of heat just before the harvest pushed the grapes to perfect ripeness.
We picked the grapes in the early morning hours to keep the grapes cold and drove the winding road down from the top of Bradford Mountain--a difficult journey.
At the winery we hand-sorted the grapes on a conveyor to eliminate any leaves or imperfect fruit. The crushed grapes were fermented using the natural yeast population on the grapes. At dryness, the wine was gently pressed in a membrane press. Because the wine is highly structured and has firm acidity, we decided to age the wine in 40% new oak puncheons and the remaining 60% in 2-year or older 60 gallons french oak barrels.
Color: Dark reddish-purple
Aroma: Black raspberry, plum, pomegranate, eucalyptus, licorice, earthy.
Taste: Intense bright fruit flavors of ripe raspberry, black cherry, and currents. Quite firm acidity and tannin provide superb structure and lush texture. Spicy components of eucalyptus, black pepper, and chocolate. Very long, spicy, fruit-driven finish; great aging potential.