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2015 Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, Monte Rosso Vineyard

93 Points - The Wine Advocate, June 2018
Retail Price: $50.00
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2015 Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, Monte Rosso Vineyard
Varietal: 100% Zinfandel
Appellation: Moon Mountain District Sonoma County
Vineyard: Monte Rosso Vineyard
Brix: 26.2°
TA at harvest: 10.2 g/L
pH at harvest: 3.07
Harvest Dates: August 22, 2015
Barrel Aging: 15 months in new and seasoned French and American oak barrels
Alcohol: 15.3%
Winemaster: Richard Arrowood
Production: 400 cases

The Vineyard

The unique character of our 2015 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

The weather during the growing season in 2015 was dry, marking year five of draught in Northern California. We were fortunate to have had such a great harvest. The season began early with a warm spring and the weather stayed beautiful all the way through to a late August harvest. The quality of the fruit was exceptional while yields were down 25% due primarily to the ongoing drought conditions. The grapes were hand-picked on August 22nd, 2015.

The Wine

The nose on this wine opens with aromas of fruit preserves, dark raspberry compote and a hint of blackberry fruit and leather. Stay with the glass, and these characters will quickly develop into fresh fruit, red cherries and black brambleberries laying over a hint of orange peel and toasted anise seeds.

Take a sip, and you will immediately find a bright, fresh acidity, dripping with the berries promised on the nose. Wait a moment, and you will notice rich tannins balancing the acidity, underscoring dark black cherries and a sparse note of crème brulee. The finish is long and smooth, reprising the fruit from the nose, and adding a touch of allspice at the very end.

You can enjoy this wine now in its fruitful youth or cellar as its tannin structure bodes well for aging for many years to come.