Our Zinfandel comes from our Kate’s Vineyard which lies in Kiler Canyon just south of our winery. We have been farming the vineyard for 14 years and consider it truly part of our Estate. The vineyard is planted on an array of aspects, allowing the separate blocks to develop considerably different characteristics. This comes into play in the cellar as the separate lots are blended together to create single vineyard, single variety “blends” of amazing cohesion.
2015 was a continuation of drought conditions along with cool spring which caused very small yeilds. Being a thin skinned varietal, Zinfandel tends to produce more fruit than tannin when produced in a concentrated style. In order to produce a balanced wine, time and effort are directed towards tannin extraction. We used a combination of 20% whole cluster fermentation and extended maceration. A regiment of twice daily punch downs and a pump over every third day promoted a full extraction of phenolics. The wine was left on skins for 26 days, allowing us to extract seed tannin, which when fully mature gives the wine plenty of toasted woody notes and aromas without having to rely on cooperage. The free run and press fractions were combined and allowed to complete malo-lactic fermentation in 20% new American heavy toasted Canton barrels and 80% neutral American barrels. After 14 months, the wine was racked out and 8% Estate Syrah was blended in before bottling to add weight and emphasize the fruit even more.