The 2017 Bartholomew Park Vineyard designate Zinfandel is a tribute to the historic nature of viniculture in Sonoma Valley, and to the excellent wines that continue to be made here today. These grapes were grown towards the southern end of Sonoma Valley, on a dry, warm bench of land which was the original site where Agoston Haraszthy, the father of California viniculture, planted the states’ first commercial winegrapes in the 1850’s.
Coming off significant rain falls in Northern California following a five-year draught, reservoirs, ground water and soil were replenished. The early 2017 growing season was perfect for wine grapes and the weather was dry with eventual warm spurts in August & September setting up a normal paced harvest. Just about two tons of the grapes were hand-picked on September 12th, 2017. October’s wildfires in Sonoma luckily did not adversely affect our vineyards and winery.
The nose on this wine opens in a classic spicy California Zinfandel style; big, immediate dollops of ripe red berries overlaying toasted anise and white pepper. Stay with the glass, and you will discover deeper fruit characters of raspberry and blueberry, alongside a delicious note of cedar and vanilla.
Take a sip, and the first thing you will notice is the impressive body of this wine. The mouthfeel is very textured for a Zinfandel, and the tannins are perfectly ripe. The flavors on the palate are darker than on the nose, blackberry jam and fresh plums. Linger for a moment, and you will find the classic brambleberry character of Zinfandel flowing back, leading to a lingering finish of red cherries and blackberry candy.
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.