The unique character of our 2010 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 vines yield a meager three-quarter to one ton per acre, in a good 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 a single block that sits 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, tight 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 grape growth and delayed the start of harvest by two to three weeks. The Zinfandel lingered close to its peak maturity, but wasn’t quite ready to pick until a sudden spike of heat in late September pushed the flavor profile up to where we wanted it. The 2010 vintage proved to be exceptional, yielding complex, balanced, and ripe fruit that resulted in lush, full-bodied wine.
The remarkable fruit from the gnarly old vines at Monte Rosso Vineyard enabled us to make a truly distinctive Zinfandel. The nose opens with the classic profile of Monte Rosso Zinfandel: deep layers of fresh black raspberry, overlaid with notes of red currant and blackberry, and a bare hint of cracked pepper. Stay with the glass for a moment, and you will begin to uncover a rich aroma of dark chocolate. On the palate you will find more fresh fruit—look for brambleberry and tart Rainier cherry. The tannins are big and ripe, especially for an old-vine Zinfandel. The fruit characters persist on to the finish, where they are joined by cocoa, vanilla, and warm baking spices. Overall, this wine is beautifully balanced and designed to age. This wine is unfined and unfiltered. Drink now or hold for 10-plus years.