The unique character of our 2011 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 118-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.
This vintage will be remembered as a relatively long one due to the mild temperatures
experienced during the growing season. The unusually cool summer weather slowed fruit
growth and delayed the start of harvest by two to three weeks. The Zinfandel lingered close to
its peak maturity, but was not quite ready to pick until September 27, 2011, when a burst of heat
pushed the flavor profile up to where we wanted it. The 2011 vintage proved to be exceptional,
yielding complex, balanced, and ripe fruit that resulted in lush, full-bodied 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.