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2012 Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, Monte Rosso Vineyard

93 Points - The Wine Advocate, Dec 2014
Retail Price: $48.00
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2012 Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, Monte Rosso Vineyard
Varietal: 96% Zinfandel, 4% Petite Sirah
Appellation: Sonoma Valley
Vineyard: Monte Rosso Vineyard
Brix: 25.0°
TA at harvest: 9.0 g/L
pH at harvest: 3.22
Harvest Dates: September 14, 2012
Barrel Aging: 15 months in new and seasoned French and American oak barrels
Alcohol: 15.5%
Winemaster: Richard Arrowood
Production: 815 cases

 The Vineyard

The unique character of our 2012 Zinfandel derives from more than four decades of winemaking expertise combined with the mountain terroir of the historic Monte Rosso Vineyard and its famous red soils. These 125-year-old Zinfandel vines yield a meager three-quarter to one ton per acre, in a bountiful year. The distinctive fruit is enhanced by the mineral-rich, well-drained, decomposed volcanic ash soils and by the cooling breezes of San Pablo Bay. The majority of the grapes come from two single blocks that sit on a precariously steep western-facing slope of the Mayacamas Mountains.  The vineyard’s high elevation exposes the fruit to additional sunlight, ensuring consistent ripening. The unique vineyard site, eight-by-eight-foot vine spacing, diligent pruning, and dry-farming techniques all combine to produce the intensely concentrated flavors of Monte Rosso grapes.

The Vintage

In 2012 we were fortunate to have had a grand, bountiful harvest. The growing conditions could be described as perfect. The weather was as good as one could wish for. The growing season began early, with a warm, dry spring, and the weather stayed absolutely beautiful all the way through harvest. The quality and quantity of the fruit were exceptional. We handpicked these grapes on September 14, 2012.

The Wine

The nose of this wine opens onto a delightful tableau of tiny red berries, balanced against just a nuance of cedar. On swirling, the nose will deepen, showing the layered beauty that is what an old vine Zinfandel can be. Take a moment, and plump raspberries, tart red currants, and just a hint of blueberry jam will unfold. Take a sip, and you will find a rich bed of tannins backing up a bracing acidity. Notice how the front of the palate is crisp, with a distinct character of tart Rainier cherries. Notice also how it quickly mellows into soft layers of rich brambleberry and cocoa. Overall, this wine is beautifully balanced and designed to age. This wine is unfined and unfiltered. Drink now or hold for 10-plus years.