Nose

A big, deep wine with intense aromas of blackberries, vanilla and pepper that leads to a fusion of fruit flavors, including blackberry pie, cranberry and black currant. The fruit blends with layers of spice notes ranging from fresh peppercorns to clove and mulled spices.

Palate

The wine is full-bodied, vibrant and robust, balanced by velvety tannins and distinctive minerality that is characteristic of Monte Rosso’s iron-rich volcanic soils. The extraordinarily long and luxurious finish concludes with rich hints of vanilla and molasses.

Growing Conditions

Monte Rosso Vineyard rolls across steep, rugged terrain in the majestic Mayacamas Mountains nearly 1,300 feet above the Sonoma Valley. Owned by the Louis M. Martini Winery since 1938, it is named for its rich, red volcanic soils and has produced award-winning wines for three generations. The vineyard’s mix of high altitude, position above the fog, low-yielding vines, and ideal western exposure produces wines with a unique sense of terroir. Monte Rosso is one of California’s most prized locations for wine grapes. This Zinfandel is crafted entirely from old vines—some more than 125 years old—on our renowned Monte Rosso Vineyard. Though yields are small, the old gnarly vines produce exceptional fruit with deep, concentrated flavors. The 2014 season was excellent—dry and warm, with early bud break, steady mellow temperatures through spring and summer, and long hangtime that let the grapes ripen fully and evenly. An unusually long harvest gave us concentrated, well-structured fruit with exceptional quality and depth.

Winemaking

The grapes for our Gnarly Vine Zinfandel were hand-harvested and sorted by hand. At the winery, the grapes were given a 3-day cold soak to extract color and flavor before they were gravity-fed into our smalllot, open-top tanks. Up to 10 days following primary fermentation, the wine was gravity racked into oak barrels for malolactic fermentation.

Aging

We aged the wine as individual barrel lots through winter and spring and assembled the majority of the blend in July. It was then aged several more months in barrel plus 12 months in bottle to allow the flavors to integrate. In total, this wine was oak aged for 14 months in a mix of 66% new French oak, 16% new American oak and 18% used oak.