An expansive nose full of earthy black cherry, fig and tobacco leaf emanates from the glass. Rich upfront Zinfandel fruit is counter-balanced by more nuanced spice and cocoa from the Syrah and Merlot components. Woodsy tannin fills in late, creating an impressive and long lasting finish to the wine.
The Zinfandel all comes from our Kate’s Vineyard which lies in the Kiler Canyon just a half mile southwest of our Estate. The Syrah comes from The Glenrose Vineyard, our immediate neighbor lying between us and Kate’s. It is well known for growing spectacular Rhône varietals. The Merlot comes from our Block 1 Estate plantings at the very top of Calcareous Vineyard property.
2014 was a continuation of hot, dry vintages here in Paso Robles that produced powerfully dense fruit. The fruit on the vine was allowed to reach full physiological ripeness, with dark brown seeds and lignified stems. Conditions such as these tend to produce massive upfront fruit in young wines. In order to bring balance to the wine, tannin extraction needs to be maximized. To achieve this, we used extended maceration, leaving the wine in contact with the skins and seeds for the longest possible time. A regiment of twice daily punch-downs and a pump-over every third day promoted a gentle but steady extraction of phenolics. The wine was left on skins from 19 to 28 days, which also allowed us to extract seed tannin, which when fully mature, gives the wine plenty of toasted woody tannin without having to rely on cooperage. The free run and press fractions were combined and the blend put together after completion of malo-lactic fermentation. After 18 months in barrel, the blend was put together from the individual varietals and was bottled promptly after going to tank.