2021 Zinfandel, Louvau Vineyard "Old Vines"
A long-time favorite of Dashe Cellars zinfandel fans, these 100+ year old vines at the Louvau Vineyard grow straight out of the rocky ground on the “bench” of the east Dry Creek Valley. These vines were hidden away under a thick patch of raspberry vines and weeds when John Louvau bought the property in the late ‘70s. It was only after he cleared the weeds to plant grapevines did he discover that he already had a small vineyard on the property: old, gnarled trunks of Zinfandel that were around 80 years old. The vines are head-trained and are pruned so that they are quite low to the ground, resulting in tiny yields of concentrated fruit.
The vintage in 2021 produced a very reduced crop on these old vine grapes; barely one ton of grapes was harvested in the morning of September 9th. The wine fermented out dark and concentrated, with great structure and complexity.
As always, we hand-sorted the grapes on a conveyor belt to eliminate leaves, rocks, or imperfect fruit. The crushed grapes were then fermented using only the native yeast population on the surface of the grapes to conduct the fermentation. At dryness, the wine was gently pressed and pumped to 120-gallon oak puncheons. The wine was aged for 16 months to develop complexity without excessive oak character that might deter from the wine’s vibrancy.
Aroma: Black cherry, cassis, strawberry jam, chocolate, pepper and licorice spice.
Taste: Good structure and balance of tannin and acid. Black cherry and cassis fruit, earth, black pepper. Crisp acidity; shows a great complexity and balance. Very persistent black cherry and peppery finish