STORY: One of the oldest original plantings in Sonoma. That’s where we had the luxury of sourcing fruit for our Sonoma Old Vines Zinfandel. Struggling little gnarled bonsai vines, as they’ve been for the last hundred years or so. No irrigation. The ancient vines must tap into their vast root systems to absorb every molecule of H2O available in the soil. The resulting wine shows what makes these old bush-vine vineyards so special. On a single vine you can find bright, almost table grape flavors, all the way through to deep brooding dessert-on-the-vine flavors. Little concentrated candy gems. The wine is intense and dense and opens up nicely in the glass. So the second half of the bottle tends to give up more exotic secrets than the first. Or maybe it just seems that way. But the longer these wines hold their secrets the better. They are messengers, storytellers of the last hundred years. Though it is almost entirely Zinfandel, we describe the wine as a kind of combination of pioneer-age Sonoma red grapes—Zin and Petite Sirah and maybe a little Granache. These are the kinds of wines that we will sadly see fewer and fewer of as the old vineyards get ripped out and replaced with something much more “logical,” like spec homes and Cabernet Sauvignon. But logic has never been what winemaking and wine drinking is all about. Two barrels produced.
VINIFICATION: Wild yeast. Open to fermenter. Gently punched down by hand.
HARVEST: Early October 2017
ELEVAGE: 16 months in barrel, 25% new Missouri Oak.
PRODUCTION: 50 cases
TASTING NOTES — Rich aromas of toffee and taffy, flint, fresh berries, plums, and flowers. Dark and juicy, with pomegranate, boysenberry jam, chewy and yet lithe and quenching on the palate. Pair with dry aged cheeses, your favorite pasta, grilled pork tenderloin, spicy roasted vegetables, and rich spinach lasagna.