We in the Napa Valley have suffered an embarrassment of riches in terms of having a string of exceptional vintages in recent years. Starting in 2012 and continuing through 2015, each has provided near ideal conditions for ripening fruit perfectly. None, however, stands out in our memory like the 2014. For sheer volume of aroma and flavor in every variety we grow on the estate, 2014 is extraordinary. With our Estate Zinfandel, we’re never trying to swing for the fences to create an over-ripe Port-like wine. We produce other varieties on the property that can satisfy anyone in need of wines of that flavor profile and stature. Rather, we prize Zinfandel for its big fruit character, crazy spiciness, and juicy acidity. This we capture by not letting the fruit get ridiculously ripe, by picking it hot and soaking it warm overnight, and by employing a very long cool fermentation. The essence of the variety and vintage is further preserved by aging it without racking in larger 500 L barrels, or puncheons.
In 2014, our Zinfandel takes on a deep roasted walnut or roasted sweet corn character along with more typical chocolate covered cherry and black spice aromas. Whether it’s from the vintage or from never having been racked (moved with air) during aging, we don’t know. Nor do we care, because it’s delicious! It’s soft. It’s thick though it’s not heavy. It tastes sweet though it isn’t. And the flavor and texture taper off slowly hand in hand into the sunset. There is a bit of alcohol in this quaffable beauty, so we recommend serving it at about 65-68 degrees for maximum pleasure.
14 months in 20% new Hungarian Oak François Frères 500 L puncheons