Russian River Valley Zinfandel 2007
Hints of fine black pepper and dark rose petal on the nose; moderate mouthfeel with medium body, finish of pepper and berry.
With not-so-subtle hints of fine black pepper powder and dark rose petal aromas, this wine graciously fills the mouth with tart dark, wild berry pie and a slight cinnamon/nutmeg zing. The mouth feel is moderate, and body is of a medium stature. Just as it begins, the wine slowly leaves the palate with a definite mention of pepper and berry. Cellar for 5-8 years.
From a grower's perspective, 2007 was an amazing season. As winemaker, the wines were easy to make by simply keeping my hands off once the perfectly ripe clusters arrived at the crushpad. Farming most of the fruit and purchasing some from the DeLoach family, this wine exemplifies a concerted effort to bring elegance and subtlety to an oft-massively constructed variety. Proper leaf pulling and timely cluster thinning concentrated the flavors in the vineyard without necessarily achieving a high Brix count. In 2007, we surgically harvested only the ripe clusters while leaving the still-pinkish, unripe clusters to hang and ripen for an additional 7-12 days. The fruit from the four local vineyards were fermented separately in small 3/4 ton, open-top bins outside, allowing for a very cool fermentation; temperature peak of 84 degrees Fahrenheit. This style of fermentation helped retain the beautiful, delicate structure as well as prevent the stewing, or cooking, of the must. The wine was barreled separately in mostly neutral, older barrels for 16 months until the very end, when the lots were blended and bottled unfiltered in May 2009.