Mauritson - The name behind the Rockpile vineyard and AVA. I’ve enjoyed their wines in the past, though mostly the Mauritson Zinfandels and not the harder to find Rockpile Vineyards bottlings. I love mountain Zinfandel so have generally liked what I’ve tasted from Rockpile, both the vineyard and the brand and the style here seems to be trying to get the most out of their vines without getting too extreme so expect rather fruity but well balanced and intense yet fresh wines. It’s a fine line and they do it well.
 
 
5% petite, 40% Rockpile fruit
 
Black cherry and a little beefy on the nose with dusty and soil driven basenotes that show a little briar wood and a hint of smoked paprika. Very fresh and easy drinking in style with  soft tannins and well integrated acids supporting juicy blackberry and black cherry fruits. The tannins are a little raw today, adding a bit of chewiness to the coca tinged finish but this is really fresh and fruit filled so give it three to six months to settle down. 88pts
 
 
Deep and jammy on the nose which is nicely smoky with some mineral notes and lots of juniper, cigar wrapper and briar wood spice notes. Polished and clear with wonderful fruit on entry. This is all about Smith brothers black cherry cough drops in the mouth, tangy and deep, supported by fine grained yet firm tannins and nicely integrated acids, that keep the richness and plushness here in check. Some black tea and chocolate notes emerge on the finish along with a bit of peppery spice but this is one big, smooth, fruit driven wine at its core. There’s a lovely balance between all the fruit and the underlying structure. 92pts