The unique character of our 2014 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. Most 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 weather during the growing season in 2014 was perfect for wine grapes, largely dry and warm, but not overly hot. We were fortunate to have had such a great harvest on the heels of the excellent 2013 vintage. The weather was as good as one could expect. The growing season began early, with a warm and dry spring, and the weather stayed beautiful all the way through an early harvest. The quality and quantity of the fruit were exceptional. The grapes were hand-picked on September 3, 2014.
The nose on this wine opens quickly with big layers of black plum and brambleberry. Swirl the glass, and you will find the nose developing notes of mocha and cedar under the fruit, with just a hint of crushed black pepper.
Take a sip and you will find bright red fruit underscored with light caramelized sugar. The acidity is crisp and lends to the intensity of the fruit, which quickly opens into characters of summer blackberry and juicy plums. The tannins are rich and full, and carry the palate through to a finish brimming with toasty vanilla and red licorice.